Rahman's attempt to KO lawsuit draws counterpunch from Lewis camp

Boxing

May 30, 2001|By Lem Satterfield

Lennox Lewis' attorney ripped Baltimore heavyweight Hasim Rahman for speaking directly to Lewis in an attempt to negate a pending lawsuit.

Rahman, who won the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation crown from Lewis on April 21, is to stand trial June 11 in U.S. District Court in New York along with his promoter, Don King, and his co-managers, Stan Hoffman and Steve Nelson. They face separate lawsuits by Lewis and Rahman's former promoter, Cedric Kushner, each alleging breach of contract for Rahman's four-fight, $75 million deal with King.

Kushner says he has a valid contract with Rahman. Lewis says Rahman's proposed fight schedule violates a clause that calls for a rematch within 150 days.

"There is no value in trying to reach [Lewis] through the back door. Any settlement comes through me or Adrian Ogun, his business manager," said Judd Burstein, lawyer for Lewis' London-based co-promoter, Lions' Promotions. "There will never be a settlement that allows for an interim fight."

Rahman will fight David Izon instead of Brian Nielsen on the Aug. 4 undercard of the John Ruiz-Evander Holyfield World Boxing Association title bout in Beijing. Rahman told Lewis on Monday that Lewis would be his next opponent after Izon.

"We want to eliminate the litigation, see if Lennox Lewis wants to fight within that 150 days," Nelson said. "We're going to insist on the interim bout."

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