Former World-Champion Hasim Rahman returns on Thursday against peripheral American contender Taurus Sykes in a minor title bout. Rahman is confident victory over Sykes will pave the way for what feels like his 17th shot at the title. Obviously, that isn’t the case but he has undoubtedly failed to live up to the potential he showed beating Lennox Lewis in his key bouts since.
A thudding jab and booming right hand should be more than enough to win a belt in today’s shallow and fractured scene but Rahman habitually under-performs at the moment of truth. A draw with a distracted, unmotivated and overweight David Tua, and a loss to a fossilised Evander Holyfield two glaring examples of his frustrating inertia at the key moment. Of course, Rahman’s lack of consistency and execution is compensated for by his remarkable ability to self-promote. Rahman can talk. He will probably always only be ‘one fight away’ from a title shot because of it.
The glow of his victory over the last consensus heavyweight champion still casts a long shadow over the relative merits of his rivals and he’ll remain a marketable opponent for any of the four champions while ever Lewis is remembered by boxing fans.
Bob Matthews reports for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, click here to read his article.