Rahman knocked out of ring, loses in 8th

Baltimore fighter falls to Russian Maskaev

November 07, 1999|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Hasim Rahman's 27th birthday officially began at midnight. And less than an hour later, his opponent, Oleg Maskaev got in his 27 licks and then some, including a right hand that knocked the Baltimore fighter through the ropes, out of the ring and out of the fight 40 seconds into the eighth round.

The bout was the main event of a five-fight card at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom in the Boardwalk Convention Hall at Bally's Park Place

With the victory propelled Maskaev to 18-2 with 13 knockouts, while Rahman fell to 31-2 with 26 KOs.

Rahman, of Baltimore, is ranked No. 5 by the International Boxing Federation and No. 7 by the World Boxing Council. Maskaev is ranked No. 4 by the World Boxing Association.

In the sixth, Maskaev's lefts and rights backed up the Rahman, who appeared to be tiring. Maskaev forced the action in the seventh, a series of overhand right hands producing a cut under Rahman's left eye. Another hard right forced Racman to the ropes, but the retreating fighter staggered the Russian -- whose left ear was bloody from from contact -- with a left-right combination.

Rahman seemed to be more confident, jabbing Maskaev in the center of the ring. He landed a three straight uppercuts and retreated to the ropes before landing a straight left and a right. A series of three-straight uppercuts ended the round, which Rahman had to win.

The muscular Maskaev pressured Rahman, landing enough punches and backing him up enough to win the third round, which Rahman ended with a hard right to the jaw at the bell.

In the fourth round, however, Rahman showed some life, keeping Maskaev at bay with his jab.

Rahman jabbed more in the fifth round as well, and was able to follow it up with left-right combinations. A right to Rahman's left ear briefly disrupted his rhythm. The two fighters traded blows over the final moments of the round, with Rahman appearing to have an edge.

In an earlier fight last night, 6-foot-6 Derrick Jefferson defeated his opponent, Maurice "Mo Bettah" Harris his devastating hook shot, knocking him down for the fourth time and finally out at 2: 52 of the sixth round of their scheduled 10-round heavyweight bout.

Jefferson (22-0), whose career didn't start until he was 27, was floored in the second round and staggered in the sixth -- moments before finishing Harris, who earned $100,000 compared to Jefferson's $75,000.

"I'm devastating," Jefferson said. "Don't make any mistakes against me."

Jefferson, No. 9 by the World Boxing Association, was coming off a victory of Melvin Foster of Washington. Jefferson also owns a split-decision win over Obed Sullivan (33-5-1), who scored his 23rd knockout in a bout earlier in the night, and a knock out over perennial contender "Smokin" Bert Cooper.

Sullivan dispatched pudgy, 242-pound Matt Green (11-5, nine KOs) at 1 minute, 10 seconds of the third round, raising his record to 33-5-1.

Sullivan had his way with Green from the outset, connecting to the head and to his flabby body until the North Carolina native retreated to his corner, turning his back toward Sullivan to shield himself from further harm.

Veteran referee Frank Capuccino came to the rescue, stepping between the two fighters and waving an end to the lopsided affair.

The victory kept the ex-Marine on course for a fight with World Boxing Organization champ Vitali Klitscko.

In an earlier preliminary fight, New Jersey's Damon Saulbury survived a bloody nose and a vicious attack from Scott Chestnut in the first round to score a technical knockout at 2: 02 of the second round of their scheduled four-round bout.

Also, Kelvin Hale (7-1-1) scored three knockdowns against Virginia's Curtis Taylor (6-5, five KOs) -- the last resulting in the fourth knockout of his career at 2: 14 of the third round. Hale is from Brooklyn, N.Y.

NOTES: Lee Samuels, a spokesman for Top Rank Inc. said Oscar De La Hoya's promoter Bob Arum and Felix Trinidad's promoter, Don King, will meet with TVKO executives Lou DiBella on Saturday to begin negotiating a rematch.

World Boxing Council and IBF champ Trinidad (36-0, 30 KOs) won a controversial 12-round decision over De La Hoya (31-1, 25 KOs) in September in Las Vegas.

"The rematch is expected to be mid-summer or late fall," Samuels said. "There's a lot of split opinions about who won that fight, and Oscar's very anxious to get him back into the ring."

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