Wladimir Klitschko vs. Hasim Rahman: Round By Round

HBO's World Championship Boxing makes its final stop of the year in Mannheim, Germany, to watch Wladimir Klitschko defend his collection of heavyweight championship belts against Hasim Rahman, who took the fight when original opponent Alexander Povetkin had to drop out.

Jim Lampley, Lennox Lewis and Max Kellerman run down the current landscape of the heavyweight division and detail the long and winding career of Rahman. They also do the same for Klitschko.

The tale of the tape shows the younger Klitschko with a three-plus inch height advantage. Rahman has a slight edge in reach.

The Rock heads to the ring first, and it's a long walk at the SAP Arena. Klitschko enters second, receiving his usual polite but adoring reaction from the German fans.

National anthems are played for the United States and Ukraine. Michael Buffer introduces the judges, who are from Italy, Germany and the U.S. Tony Weeks is the referee for tonight's fight.

Buffer gets bi-lingual to do the fighter introductions, and we're ready to go.

Round One

Both men paw with the jab in the center of the ring. Rahman has to duck under and Klitschko scores with a left hook. The champ works his jab and they tie up. Short right hand by Klitschko and they grapple again. Klitschko lands another right and returns to his jab. Thumping left hook upstairs followed by a body shot by the champ.

Franchise: Klitschko 10-9
Spartan117: Klitschko 10-9

Round Two

Rahman hasn't figured out a way inside thus far. He wants to bully the champ but isn't having much luck. Weeks is busy early on in the second. The fans aren't too pleased with all the wrestling. Klitschko lands multiple jabs and looks for an opening. Right hand by Dr. Steelhammer as his foe tries to go to the body. Klitschko fires a right hand right down the pike. Rahman tries to rally in the last ten seconds but is largely ineffective.

Franchise: Klitschko 10-9
Spartan117: Klitschko 10-9

Round Three

Jabs fly both ways with Klitschko getting the better of the deal. He works Rahman back into the ropes and tries to measure some right hands. Rahman's head is snapping back from the force of Klitschko's jabs. Perhaps Rahman is trying to lure the champ into a mistake, but it's not working in this round. Klitschko sneaks in a short right and a left hook before the bell.

Franchise: Klitschko 10-9
Spartan117: Klitschko 10-9

Round Four

Rahman already looks tired even though he's not throwing much. He says he'll pressure Klitschko in this round but we'll see. Jabs continue to rain down for the champ. Nice right hand by Klitschko and they tie up. Klitschko simply circles and keeps popping the jab. A left hook backs Rahman up a few steps. He's at least let his hands go a bit more in this round, but he's still getting totally outclassed.

Franchise: Klitschko 10-9
Spartan117: Klitschko 10-9

Round Five

Klitschko works off the left hook and lands a right hand with it. Rahman's only real offense is an occasional jab to the body. Klitschko is a little bit less active and showing an abundance of caution. Now he lands a left-right combo to Rahman's head. He measures another right coming in. Rahman swings and misses with a wild right.

Franchise: Klitschko 10-9
Spartan117: Klitschko 10-9

Round Six

Rahman gets hit with several lefts and a right and goes down. He pops back up and Klitschko comes forward to try to seal the deal. Rahman tries to hold on for dear life with his back to the ropes. The crowd is urging Klitschko on. He lands several hooks and a right hand. CompuBox has Rahman landing zero punches through two minutes. The champ scores with two left hooks to the body as the round ends.

Franchise: Klitschko 10-8
Spartan117: Klitschko 10-8

Round Seven

Weeks warns Rahman that he's not going to let him take that kind of sustained abuse again. He's wobbled again by another combo. Klitschko keeps scoring and Weeks steps in to call the fight.

The winner by TKO at 0:44 of Round Seven... and still IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion of the world... "Dr. Steelhammer" Wladimir Klitschko.

Lewis says it's crucial for any serious contender to Klitschko's titles to be in excellent shape, and that clearly wasn't the case for Rahman tonight. The HBO crew speculates about possible opponents for Wladimir in 2009, including Chris Arreola, David Haye and Nikolai Valuev. Haye is in attendance tonight.

Kellerman finally gets a word with the champ, who says he punished Rahman. Klitschko says he didn't do anything different in training even though he looks a bit bigger in the upper body. He feels like a fight with Povetkin will still happen in 2009, and though he admits that Haye has been doing a lot of talking, he wants to know where Haye is right now.

Klitschko finishes by saying he's having more fun sharing the heavyweight titles with his brother Vitali than holding them all himself.


uatu said...

he is usually accompanied by some over the top Euro-type entrance. I will say though, that every time he fights in Germany, it looks like they really make an enterntainment event out of the whole spectacle. Which is often missing in fights in the US. I love the fact that there are fights at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, but they don't have much energy or garishness when the entrances happen.

spartan117 said...

Not that it's going to make any difference in the fight, but it seemed like Klitschko was really tired in his corner between the 4th and 5th rounds.

uatu said...

Conditioning has never been Rahman's strongest attribute either, so I doubt he will capitalize. But maybe he can land that Lennox Lewis crusher.

uatu said...

no shock there. I am getting a little tired of his fights. He hasn't been in a good fight in three years.

Part of it is because he is good, no doubt.

Part is because he has no one to fight.

So if he fights Haye, or Arreola, or even Toney, at least I would care.

Nick Tylwalk said...

Even though Arreola can box a bit and has power, I think Klitschko would kill him if the fight lasted more than three rounds.

Haye may be the only Klitschko fight that interests me at this point.

uatu said...

Even from Haye, right now it's mostly his brashness that is making the fight interesting. He hasn't exactly proven himself to be the #1 contender or anything by actual performance in the division. Although he has held on to your #1 power ranking spot forever.