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Hasim Rahman Back in the Picture
By Aaron Imholte (July 9, 2004) 
Hasim Rahman
So far former world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman's career has been filled with ups and downs. From upsetting possibly one of the best heavyweight champions in recent memory in Lennox Lewis in 2001, to losing his next three fights and fighting to a draw with David Tua, Rahman has now won three fights in a row against tomato cans and he has signed on to fight a fourth bum on July 28th by the name of Wayne Llewelyn.

So what happened to 'The Rock'? After South Africa some writers and analysts were calling him a real deal, the Frazier to Lewis' Ali, the next big heavyweight champion. Well, it turns out he was the Leon Spinks to Lewis' Ali. Rahman went 0-3-1 after his huge upset victory over the champ including a loss in the rematch with Lewis. Rahman had to then pick up the pieces and rebuild his career from square one. He has already beaten Alfred Cole, Mario Cawley, and Rob Calloway in decisive fashion.

Now I know that these three victories do not mean much more than a tally in the win column for fans, but for Rahman it's a confidence booster. A boost he really needs if he is going to tangle with the likes of Ruiz, Byrd, Brewster, Klitschko or even Mike Tyson. He needs a good shot in the arm to rekindle the fire that he had in his eyes in South Africa. He was hungry then, and he must get hungry again.

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While many thought he was ready for a title shot after Calloway, Rahman still signed on to fight Wayne Llewelyn on the 28th of this month. Maybe he feels he needs one more tune up before he laces 'em up with John Ruiz again, which has been the most rumored match-up for 'The Rock'. Maybe his confidence is not as high as he would like it to be yet. Maybe he feels he needs a little more re-polishing of his tools thus fighting one more set-up. Whatever it is the thought of Rahman fighting for a title again does provide a little bit of a shock to a division on life support. After all, he does have some mainstream attention after upsetting Lewis.

Now I'm not saying Hasim Rahman is the answer to the heavyweight division's problems, because he is definitely not. Maybe he is, however, a little bit of a pick me up to hold us over until that next big heavyweight champion comes along. Although it is yet to be seen whether he can overcome his ups and downs to beat the Byrds, Brewsters or Ruizs of the world, to put these trials and tribulations behind him to become a champion again would certainly be a wonderful story. Now it is looking like less and less of a fairytale and with each opponent he dispatches, he is starting to make believers out of some of us. With the heavyweight division is the state it's now in, who's to say Rahman won't be wearing a portion of the heavyweight crown by the end of 2004?

Stranger things have happened.
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