Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rahman and Toney meet for heavyweight championship!

Tonight, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, there is a heavyweight championship fight taking place between current WBC Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman and the former three-division champion James Toney.

Toney has previously won titles at the middle, super middle, and cruiserweight divisions. Tonight, he takes a shot at winning a world title in his fourth weight class.

The former undipsuted heavyweight champion Rahman, who is perhaps best known for his stunning fifth round KO upset win over Lennox Lewis back in 2001, is attempting to catapult himself back to the top of the heavyweight landscape and regain the momentum that he had when he previously seized the undipsuted championship from Lewis. April of last year, Toney fought then-WBA Heavyweight Champion John Ruiz. Toney had initially won a unanimous decision, but the verdict was later reversed to a no-contest when Toney's drug test came back positive for steroid usage.

That was then and this is now.

Since the no-contest with Ruiz, Toney has posted a lopsided win over Dominic Guinn. Rahman won the interim WBC title with a convincingly victory of Monte Barrett. His status of interim champion was upgraded to champion when a proposed fight, the third of the three, with then-champion Vitali Klitschko was cancelled due to Klitschko's sudden retirement from the sport.

Earlier this year, I had spoken of the spring cleaning that is about to take place in the heavyweight division. That cleaning, which is so desparately needed in the muddled heavyweight division, begins tonight with this championship fight. Rahman vs Toney is the first significant heavyweight fight to take place in quite a few years. With boxing (not the most recognized or praised sport) being the greatest sport in the world, it is refreshing as well as intriguing to know that the heavyweights are beginning to clean up their act and come together to show fans and experts who is the very best. With IBF Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd and Wladimir Klitschko once again facing each other in Germany in next month, tonight's fight is just the beginning of the heavyweight spring cleaning that I had spoken of earlier.

Boxing fans willsurely be tuning in to watch this showdown tonight. I encourage all people tune in and watch a great fight tonight. For once, we have a real fight at heavyweight. In the heavyweight division, which is the most widely regarded by outside fans as well as the general public, Hasim Rahman and James Toney begin the cleaning process. It is long over overdue.

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