Mon, Mar 20, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Rahman-Toney fight ends in a disappointing draw

AP , ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

James Toney, right, lands an upper cut on opponent Hasim Rahman during Round 11 of their WBC World Heavyweight Championship bout in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Saturday. The judges rules the fight a draw and Rahman retained his WBC title.

PHOTO: EPA

Hasim Rahman remained the WBC heavyweight champion Saturday night without beating James Toney.

Rahman, handed the crown when Vitali Klitschko retired last year, fought Toney to a draw, a verdict booed by many fans in the crowd. So the 33-year-old Rahman has never actually won the belt in the ring.

"I can beat James Toney and I beat him tonight," Rahman insisted. "I was competitive inside. I thought it would be harder inside and it wasn't, so I was comfortable fighting him on the inside, even though the game plan [was] to use the jab."

It was one of the closest fights imaginable, with both boxers missing more than they connected, and with few flurries.

Toney did his best work with right leads, including two massive ones late in the bout. But he also missed a handful of those punches, looking foolish as he swiped the air.

Rahman carried the action in the final round after Toney landed two early punches. By the end of the 12th, Rahman was holding his hands in the air, thinking he'd won.

The judges saw otherwise -- sort of.

Nobuaki Uratani and Tom Kaczmarek each had it 114-114, while John Stewart saw a Rahman rout, 117-111. AP scored it 114-113 for Rahman.

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