Rahman fires Fisher, names McGirt trainer

Lack of `chemistry' cited 3 weeks before Tua bout

Boxing

March 08, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Citing an "erosion in their relationship," former world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman has replaced trainer Bouie Fisher with Buddy McGirt Rahman's co-manager, Steve Nelson, said yesterday.

"The decision was made over the past 72 hours," Nelson said from Vero Beach, Fla., where Baltimorean Rahman has trained for the past three weeks for his March 29 rematch with David Tua in Philadelphia to be televised on HBO.

Fisher was in the corner for Rahman's last fight, a technical-decision loss to Evander Holyfield in Atlantic City in June.

Once likened to a "Harvard professor" by Rahman for his knowledge of the sport, Fisher was named Trainer of the Year for leading Bernard Hopkins to a 2001 knockout win over Felix Trinidad for the undisputed middleweight title.

"What happened is that you need a certain chemistry between fighter and trainer, and Rock just felt the chemistry was not there after three weeks," Nelson said.

A former two-time champion who retired as a fighter in the late 1990s, McGirt will be honored as Trainer of the Year at the April 25 Boxing Writers' Association of America dinner in New York for leading Arturo Gatti to his junior welterweight victory over Mickey Ward, and light heavyweight Antonio Tarver to a knockout win over Eric Harding.

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