Rahman is promising a 'rumble' in title bout

Boxing

September 23, 2005|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun reporter

As Hasim Rahman and Vitali Klitschko stood nose-to-nose for nearly the length of an entire round during Tuesday's news conference in Las Vegas for their upcoming heavyweight bout, an observer envisioned a replay of Rahman's ESPN fracas with Lennox Lewis.

"It was a long stare-down - maybe three minutes. We were like, `Come on fellas, turn to the cameras,'" said publicist Kelly Swanson yesterday while sitting next to Rahman at Baltimore's ESPNZone on the Inner Harbor. "People were like, `Kelly, grab them,' but I was like, `I'm not touching those guys.' I was nervous."

The fighters finally separated. But Rahman (41-5-1, 33 knockouts) promised a "rumble" with Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) on Nov. 12 when they meet for the 6-foot-8 Ukrainian's World Boxing Council crown at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

"I've been in with the better fighters than Vitali Klitschko. I've learned from those fights," said the Baltimore native, who "saw [Klitschko's] eyes welling up" during their staredown.

Rahman, who turns 33 on Nov. 7, wore a shirt that read, "Down Goes ... " across his chest, with Klitschko's photo on the back. Rahman will earn $4.2 million to Klitschko's $7.8 million.

"My opponent's irritated with me, wants to bring hurt to me. If you want to hurt me, then bring it," said Rahman, who won the crown from Lewis in April 2001 but lost their rematch. "If I can't regain the heavyweight championship of the world, I'll congratulate [Klitschko] and move on to another chapter in my life."

lem.satterfield@baltsun.com

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