By: Jim Amato
My opinion on this fight is that Oleg really didn’t deserve this shot. There are more deserving heavyweights out there. Maskaev has a 32-5 record with with 25 KO’s. One of those were against Rahman in 1999. He knocked. Hasim clear out of the ring. Very impressive.
Oleg had suffered knockout losses to Oliver McCall and David Tua before he halted Rahman. After that victory he stopped three more times by Kirk Johnson, Lance Whitaker and a 312 pound Corey Sanders.
Oleg has won ten straight since his last loss, eight by knockout. To me
though the quality of opposition was not first rate. He won a WBC “eliminator ” over Sinan Samil Sam his last time out. So…
Maybe Rahman wanted this fight to avenge his earlier defeat. I do not
begrudge him that. Revenge is a very motivating emotion. I just didn’t
care for the way the WBC set this up and forced on the public. I am having
trouble getting excited about this fight. Surely Maskaev has a puncher’s chance. Who knows, maybe he just has Rahman’s number. We’ll see.
I think Rahman will emerge with the victory. Now if we could only clean
up the politics in boxing so undeserving challengers are not awarded
mandatory title shots.