Lem’s latest: Rahman back in the title hunt



Former two-time heavyweight beltholder Hasim Rahman has confirmed a report that his challenge for the WBA “regular” belt worn by Alexander Povetkin has been rescheduled for Sept. 29 in Hamburg, Germany. The bout, originally slated for July 14, was canceled following surgery to remove a large cyst on Rahman’s left wrist.

“I’m not used to punching things and having excruciatiing pain shoot up through my arm. That was bizarre,” said Rahman (50-7-2, 41 knockouts), who is training in Las Vegas under former light heavyweight titleholder Eddie Mustafa Muhammad for Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs). “I just finished training and hitting the pads for 30 minutes straight and hard, so it’s all good.”

Promoted by Sauerland Events, Povetkin, who turns 33 on Sept. 2, is coming off a disputed majority decision over cruiserweight titleholder Marco Huck in February.

The Rahman-Povetkin undercard will feature an IBF-sanctioned eliminator bout between Alexander Ustinov (27-0, 21 KOs), who is handled by the Klitschko brothers’ K2 Promotions, and Kubrat Pulev (16-0, 8 KOs), of Sauerland Promotions, to determine the organization’s mandatory challenger for RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 51 KOs). Klitschko has the WBA title as well as the IBF and WBO belts.

Promoted by Greg Cohen, Rahman, 39, was stopped in the seventh round by Klitschko in December of 2008, but has scored five straight knockouts and is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Glen Brown in June of last year.

Rahman dethroned Lennox Lewis as undisputed champion by fifth-round knockout in April of 2001, only to lose the crown by fourth-round stoppage in a rematch seven months later.

No U.S.-born fighter has held a heavyweight crown since 2007, when Shannon Briggs briefly wore the WBO’s strap. In 2006, Rahman held the WBC belt while the IBF title was held by Chris Byrd. Puerto Rican-American John Ruiz, the first Latino to win a heavyweight belt, held the WBA title from 2001 to 2005.

Rahman says he’s ready to wear the heavyweight crown once again.

“Everything is going right on schedule, and I would bet on myself for this fight,” said Rahman. “I’m going to treat Povetkin like a yellow light, you know what I mean? You know when there’s a yellow light, you just blow right on through it.”



Former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titleholder Tomasz Adamek (46-2, 28 KOs) will meet journeyman Travis Walker (39-7-1, 31 KOs) on Sept. 8 on Wealth TV starting at 3 p.m.from The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., where Adamek is unbeaten in his past nine fights.

Promoted by Main Events, Adamek will be giving up three inches to the 6-foot-5 Walker, who is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Australia’s Kali Meehan in March.

Co-promoted by Ziggy Promotions, the fight will be televised in Poland on pay per view. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the first bout is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Since falling to Vitali Klitschko by 10th-round knockout in September, Adamek has won two straight unanimous decisions over Nagy Aguilera and Eddie Chambers in March and June, respectively.

“Once again Tomasz is testing himself against a ranked opponent. The winner of this bout will be in the mix for a significant bout in the heavyweight division,” said Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. “Walker knows that this is his big opportunity to position himself for another major fight.”


An IBF junior middleweight eliminator bout between Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado (20-5, 12 KOs) and Miami’s Charles Whittaker (38-12-2, 23 KOs) has been added to an already-stacked Sept. 21 edition of NBC Sports’ Fight Night series from Bethlehem, Pa., Main Events announced on Monday.

Rosado has won six straight fights, four of them by knockout, and Whittaker, 14 consecutive bouts, eight of them by stoppage. The winner of Rosado-Whittaker would be in line to challenge titleholder Cornelius Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs).


The card will be headlined by southpaw light heavyweight contender Gabriel Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KOs) taking on Sergey Kovelev (18-0, 16 KOs), and will also boast welterweight Ronald Cruz (17-0, 12 KOs) against Antwone Smith (21-4, 12 KOs).

The 6-foot-3 Campillo is coming off a controversial split-decision loss to IBF beltholder Tavoris Cloud (24-0 19 KOs), whom Campillo appeared to out-box after having been dropped twice in the first round in February. Kovalev, of Russia, knocked out Darnell Boone in the second round in June.


English welterweight contender Kell Brook (28-0, 18 KOs) will meet Argentine Hector Saldivia (41-2, 32 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., in an IBF eliminator bout from the Sheffield Arena on Oct. 20, Brook’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing, has announced on its website.

The winer of Brook-Saldivia becomes the mandatory challenger to newly-crowned titleholder Randall Bailey, who will make the first defense of his belt on Sept. 8 against former IBF and WBC 140-pound beltholder Devon Alexander.

Brook is coming off last month’s hard-fought majority decision victory over Oklahoma City’s Carson Jones (34-9-2, 24 KOs), whose winning streak of eight straight knockouts was ended. Saldivia has also won eight straight fights, six of them by knockout, since being stopped in the first round by Said Ouali in May of 2010.



Newly-signed lightweight prospect Jonathan “The Predator” Maicelo (17-0, 10 KOs), of Callao, Peru, will make his debut under promoter Gary Shaw on Friday night opposite Wifredo Acuna (14-11, 11 KOs) from the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, Calif.

“Maicelo is a huge star in his native land of Peru. His tantalizing fighting style is what brings large crowds, amassing 15,000 people to come see him fight,” said Shaw. “He had an outstanding amateur career where he medaled in many international tournaments. He’s a tremendous fighter with a ton of charisma.”

Maicelo is coming off last month’s third-round stoppage victory over Daniel Attah.

“In his last fight at the Chumash Casino last month, he destroyed the always rugged Daniel Attah in three rounds,” said Shaw.

“We want to showcase his talents here in the United States, and he’ll make a quick return to the ring this Friday at the Morongo Casino on the undercard of Darley Perez vs. Bahodir Mamadjonov, which will air on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.”

Perez (25-0, 19 KOs), of San Pedro de Uraba, Colombia, will be in a lightweight matchup opposite Mamadjonov (11-0, 7 KOs), a southpaw from Uzbekistan.


Welterweight prospect Alan Sanchez (10-2-1, 4 KOs), Fairfield, Calif., will pursue his sixth straight win on an Aug. 25 S├│lo Boxeo Tecate card when he meets Mexican-born southpaw Manuel Leyva (21-7, 12 KOs), of Downey, Calif., at Sports Center in Fairfield.

Sanchez, 21, is coming off a nationally-televised first-round stoppage of Artemio Reyes, who had previously won 14 straight fights, 11 of them by knockout. Reyes, now 16-2 with 12 knockouts, was stopped by Sanchez for the only time in his career.

In the co-feature, Fairfield featherweight Manuel “Tino” Avila (8-0, 2 KOs) takes on Vicente Alfaro (5-1, 1 KO) of Norfield, Minn.

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Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]