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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    Newsflash: No Bloodshed at Rahman-Toney Presser! 

    Flanked by a small detail of grim-looking security men wearing sports jackets, ties, and lapel pins with a big "S" on them, WBC heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman and challenger James Toney managed to have a press conference Tuesday at New York's Tavern on the Green restaurant without turning the place red.

    These two will get to square off against each other March 18 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, in a bout which will be shown in the U.S. on HBO and is promoted by Top Rank.

    Both fighters confidently predicted that they would win by knockout. That is as it should be. But things have sunk so low in boxing that all involved must be applauded for their discipline at this crowded press conference and their desire to promote this fight not as a brawl fueled by personal antagonisms but as a major sporting event.

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    Although it's completely arbitrary that Rahman is designated champion and Toney challenger in this match, (if anything, it should be the other way around) we're finally being given a genuinely interesting title fight. Toney, light-years the better fighter, has to deal with a big guy who is a real, not imagined, threat. Very tough to scope this one out.
     
    You are right since both guys come into this fight with a lot of question marks. Rahman is consistently inconsistent, although he looked trim yesterday. Toney has had numerous injuries and was caught using steroids, probably to help him heal.

    But because of boxing's self-destructive structure, this could be the biggest heavyweight fight in a long time and for the foreseeable future. Who knows when or if Byrd-W. Klitschko 2 will ever happen? Brewster doesn't have a credible opponent outside of Wlad, either. And Valuev? Nyet. They all seem like damaged goods. So the Rahman-Toney winner may actually be regarded by the public as more or less the real heavyweight champion.

    Interestingly, guess who just showed up in the WBC heavyweight ratings at #11? John Ruiz, now that he is no longer the WBA champ. So if King and the WBA fail to give him a much deserved rematch with Valuev, he could beat one of the guys ahead of him who are not fighting for titles yet -- #1 Oleg Maskaev, #4 Oliver McCall, #5 Samuel Peter, #6 Ray Austin, #7 Calvin Brock, #8 Shannon Briggs, #9 Sinan Samil Sam, or #10 Larry Donald. That would put him in the top ten and in line eventually for the Rahman-Toney winner, either of whom would provide an interesting rematch for Ruiz.
     
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    2 Comments:

    Although it's completely arbitrary that Rahman is designated champion and Toney challenger in this match, (if anything, it should be the other way around) we're finally being given a genuinely interesting title fight. Toney, light-years the better fighter, has to deal with a big guy who is a real, not imagined, threat. Very tough to scope this one out.

    By Anonymous Charles Farrell, at 7:33 AM  

    You are right since both guys come into this fight with a lot of question marks. Rahman is consistently inconsistent, although he looked trim yesterday. Toney has had numerous injuries and was caught using steroids, probably to help him heal.

    But because of boxing's self-destructive structure, this could be the biggest heavyweight fight in a long time and for the foreseeable future. Who knows when or if Byrd-W. Klitschko 2 will ever happen? Brewster doesn't have a credible opponent outside of Wlad, either. And Valuev? Nyet. They all seem like damaged goods. So the Rahman-Toney winner may actually be regarded by the public as more or less the real heavyweight champion.

    Interestingly, guess who just showed up in the WBC heavyweight ratings at #11? John Ruiz, now that he is no longer the WBA champ. So if King and the WBA fail to give him a much deserved rematch with Valuev, he could beat one of the guys ahead of him who are not fighting for titles yet -- #1 Oleg Maskaev, #4 Oliver McCall, #5 Samuel Peter, #6 Ray Austin, #7 Calvin Brock, #8 Shannon Briggs, #9 Sinan Samil Sam, or #10 Larry Donald. That would put him in the top ten and in line eventually for the Rahman-Toney winner, either of whom would provide an interesting rematch for Ruiz.

    By Blogger Eddie Goldman, at 3:59 PM  

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