Media feel light touch of Rahman

He leaves 'em laughing at session in New York

April 29, 2001|By Lem Satterfield

One night after showing his humorous side to "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, Baltimore's heavyweight world champion, Hasim "The Rock" Rahman, had a group of New York-based reporters rolling in the aisles at yesterday's news conference in Manhattan.

Rahman (35-2, 29 knockouts), who earned $1.5 million in becoming Baltimore's first heavyweight champ with last week's fifth-round knockout of World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation king Lennox Lewis, answered questions with wit at the Local Restaurant on West 47th Street.

To the query of what was going through his mind when Lewis went down, Rahman answered: "Somebody ringing up a cash register, waiting for me to cash in." Who is tougher, Lewis or Mike Tyson? "Lennox is tough because of his height. Tyson, I don't know what to expect from him. I might need to wear earmuffs."

Cedric Kushner, Rahman's promoter, said it is "50-50" whether his fighter would now meet Tyson, who is contracted to Showtime, or Lewis (with HBO) again. Both sides have made offers, and an announcement will come "by the end of next week," Kushner said.

"Now I have a question for you guys," Rahman said near the end of yesterday's gathering. "Can I get a waiter over here?"

Gregory Juckett, assistant to Kushner, said: "Rahman was wonderful - candid, cordial, impressive - all the things a promoter needs him to be."

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