Rahman hopes win is around the corner

With Davis back as trainer, ex-champ takes on Cawley

Boxing

April 16, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

The revolving door of trainers continues for Hasim Rahman tonight as the former heavyweight champion enters the second fight of his comeback effort against Mario Cawley in the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Slots in Delaware.

As he goes after his 30th knockout against the little-known Cawley, who has lost 11 of his past 12 fights, Rahman (36-5-1) will take instructions from childhood friend Melvin Walker and Adrian Davis, who was rehired by the boxer.

"We're [he and Davis] friends now. He knows me, knows what it takes to get me going," said Rahman, who has had nine head trainers or corner men over the course of his career. "But in this fight, I won't need much in the way of corner advice."

Walker will play more of a major role in tonight's bout.

"I've been in Hasim's corner most of the time," said Walker. "He's not a guy whose hand you have to hold for him to do well."

Davis was the lead man in Rahman's corner for both fights against Lennox Lewis. Rahman took the undisputed crown from Lewis via a fifth-round knockout nearly three years ago, only to lose their rematch seven months later.

A bitter Rahman fired Davis after the loss to Lewis, which began a sequence that had Rahman with a different trainer for each of his next four bouts.

Bouie Fisher, Buddy McGirt and Roger Mayweather were Rahman's respective trainers in his loss to Evander Holyfield, his draw with David Tua and his loss to John Ruiz for the World Boxing Association title.

Rahman, 31, said he split with Mayweather after the latter failed to show up for last month's 10-round victory over Al Cole in Glen Burnie.

Mayweather said it shouldn't matter who is in Rahman's corner against Cawley (22-11, 16 KOs). The lone win for Cawley, 33, in his past 12 bouts was by sixth-round disqualification over Danny Wofford (17-86-2) in November 2000.

Rahman still is ranked in the top six by the WBA, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation.

Rahman's highest ranking is fourth by the WBA. The WBA's third-ranked fighter, Wladimir Klitschko, was knocked out in five rounds by unheralded Lamon Brewster on Saturday.

On April 24, Klitschko's older brother, Vitali, meets Corrie Sanders in a battle of the WBA's No. 1- and No. 2-ranked heavyweights.

"I'll be on the fast track to the title, maybe in August, after the Sanders-Klitschko fight," said Rahman.

At a glance

What: Ballroom Boxing

Who: Hasim Rahman (36-5-1, 29 KOs), Baltimore, vs. Mario Cawley (22-11, 16 KOs), Chicago, eight rounds, heavyweights

Where: Delaware's Dover Downs Slots' Rollins Center

When: Tonight; six-bout card begins at 8 p.m.; main event approximately 10:30 p.m.

Tickets: $50-$200 at the door or call 302-857-3232 or 800-711-5882

TV: Webcast live on Maxboxing.com

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