Rahman defeats Wilson

Baltimore heavyweight wins state title by decision


March 02, 2000|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Baltimore heavyweight Hasim Rahman gave new meaning to winning ugly in a lopsided 10-round decision over Mo Wilson at Martin's West last night in a fight that more closely resembled a wrestling match.

Rahman (32-2), who claimed the hardly relevant Maryland state title in the process, could hardly be blamed for the lack of action. Wilson (11-32-3) was intent on keeping his record of never being knocked out and fought strictly in the survival mode after the first few rounds.

A standing-room-only crowd of 2,200 lustily booed Wilson's holding tactics that resulted in two penalty points from referee Bill Holmes, who might have been wiser to disqualify the 44-year-old boxer.

Rahman, trying to erase the memory of being knocked out by Russia's Oleg Maskaev in his previous bout, tried desperately to land a knockout punch in the last two rounds when Wilson clearly began to show his age. But all Rahman got for his efforts was a cut over his left eye, the result of a head butt. The wound required a few butterfly stitches.

It was hardly a fight Rahman will want to put in a time capsule, but it had to give him a slight boost of confidence after his loss to Maskaev dropped him out of the rankings, where he was once as high as No. 3.

"I knew that he was going to spend the whole night holding," Rahman said of his former sparring partner. "He knew he couldn't outbox or outpunch me. At his age, he's not interested in winning a championship. He just wants to go 10 rounds and get paid.

"I wasn't really frustrated. I showed I had the stamina and poise to go 10 rounds. But it takes two people to fight, and I wasn't going to expend a lot of energy or try to prove I was strong by pushing him off me. That's the referee's job."

Stan Hoffman, Rahman's co-manager, acknowledged that Wilson was not the kind of opponent they wanted for Rahman's first home appearance since early in his pro career.

"This fight should never have gone the distance," Hoffman said. "The referee should have forced Wilson to try and make a fight of it. But all the wrestling gave `Rock' 10 hard rounds."

Veteran trainer Adrian Davis, who has taken over Rahman's tutoring, accepted the victory with a sad shrug.

"Fighting a guy like Wilson, you're never going to look good, no matter who you are," he said. "We'll just take the win and move on."

Laurel welterweight Del Matchett (10-1-1) lived up to his nickname, "The Hatchet," by systematically chopping down Cincinnati-rival Cornell Shinholster (12-5), with jarring hooks and a bruising body attack.

Shinholster was literally out on his feet when referee Ken Chevalier intervened at 2: 36 of the second round. Shinholster slumped to the canvas and needed medical assistance.

The texture of Dana Rucker's chin was again seriously questioned after the Baltimore super-middleweight was knocked out in the first round by journeyman Derrick Whitley (8-14) of Holyoke, Mass.

A left hook by Whitley sent Rucker flying across the ring. He struggled to regain his feet, but referee Gary Campaneschi did not bother to count. Rucker's record dropped to 9-2.

Welterweight Juan Diaz (4-1) of Hyattsville, who clowned his way to a loss in his previous fight, won a six-round bout with Lawrence Brooks (3-5) of Capitol Heights.

Junior middleweights Shawn Garnett (3-1) of Washington, and Charles Clark of Baltimore (11-5-1), butted heads in the first round of a scheduled six-rounder. The blood flowed freely, with Clark cut high on the forehead and Garnett cut over both eyes.

But Garnett dominated the fight, shaking Clark several times before ring doctor Ian Weiner stopped it after examining Garnett's cuts at the end of the fourth round.

Forced to go to the scorecards, Garnett was awarded a split decision, avenging an earlier loss to Clark.

Heavyweight Moe Gray (5-6) of Hillcrest Heights stopped Frank Edmundson (8-10-1) of Washington at 1: 35 of the second round.

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