Boxing: All Talk And No Trousers
04 Sep 2001 14:37 GMT
NOW Sport's Andy McKenzie was there to see Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman meet up again, but this time there were no fireworks.
The media waited expectantly for a rematch of their schoolyard squabble that prompted suggestions boxing and American wrestling should merge. Unfortunately for the television cameras, there was no repeat performance. Lennox Lewis' mother was on hand to answer back in case the altercation turned into a 'Yo Momma' spat, while both boxers were surrounded by security men just in case the imposing Violet couldn't handle things herself.
Rahman appeared bedecked in a fuchsia robe, a jewelled crown and waved a king's sceptre with the right hand which just over four-and-a-half months ago earned him the heavyweight title of the world. "The hammer that changed the world," promoter Don King pronounced, holding up Rahman's iron fist to the audience.
While Rahman came in fancy dress, Lewis was sporting a sharp suit and a permanent scowl, clearly unimpressed by Rahman's excessive attire.
Not to be denied, Lewis was sidelined by his own bunch of beauties, dressed in Beefeater suits which left little to the imagination, presumably so there were no further questions regarding his sexual persuasion.
A week ago, the two men wrecked a television studio in California, USA, following a heated disagreement on that age-old discussion of whether taking out a court action was indeed an indication of homosexuality.
This time, there were few words from the two protagonists on the subject of their fallout. Instead they choose to talk boxing. Lewis labeled Rahman a "one-punch wonder" and claimed the knockout blow in the fifth round of their fight in April was a lucky one thrown in desperation. He assured everyone that there would be no repeat.
"I'm gonna make Hasim Rahman the champ for the moment," said 36-year-old Lewis. "I see me going out there and asserting myself from the first bell. I'm going to win every round.
"I'm gonna show that he's just holding on to my belts. He doesn't even belong in the same ring as me."
"He feels like I can't do it again," he said. "That's going to provide me with the opportunity do it again. He doesn't believe I've gotten better as a fighter. I'm stronger, more disciplined, that's exactly what I am.
"I've been through enough life-threatening situations not to be worried about a heavyweight fight against somebody I've already knocked out."
And then they were gone. Although this time they were escorted out by models rather than security men.
Read more NOW articles by Andy McKenzie