Former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahim reflects on his 2001 shocker, when he upset the massive odds to score a huge knockout of Lennox Lewis to capture the division’s crown in South Africa.
During that moment, Lewis had lost focus by filming a scene for the motion picture Ocean’s Eleven and spent more time talking about Mike Tyson than his upcoming opponent.
On June 1, another British heavyweight, Anthony Joshua, will take part in a very important career fight.
Joshua will defend his WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO world titles against Andy Ruiz at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The contest will be Joshua’s debut in the United States.
Rahman does not expect Joshua to lose his focus in the same manner that Lewis did several many years ago.
He believes Joshua will want to make statement to match the recent brutal knockout victory by WBC world champion Deontay Wilder.
“Joshua has so much more on the line [than Lewis did with me]. Boxing in the heavyweight division is so different to when Lennox was defending his titles. Anthony knows what is at stake, and he doesn’t want to mess up potentially the biggest undisputed fight ever. He doesn’t want to jeopardise that,” Rahman told Sky Sports.
“With the performance that Deontay Wilder [put in against Dominic Breazeale], Joshua has to at least match that. It’s a must. He has to. If he goes the distance with Ruiz Jr, it will make things harder at the negotiating table. Deontay has done his part.”
Ruiz is a late replacement for initial opponent Jarrell Miller, who the lost the opportunity after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs in three separate drug tests.