Hasim Rahman needs a win Thursday night


Hasim Rahman needs a win Thursday night

Ex-heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman of Baltimore hits Rochester, N.Y. tonight to get set for his fight against Taurus Sykes of Brooklyn, N.Y. at the Main Street Armory on Thursday night.

"The Rock needs a win -- right now," said his manager Steve Nelson today. "I've been with Hasim since the beginning of his career. I've seen every high and point there is. But the bottom line is that he wants to win, he must win and he will win on Thursday night."

Nelson said new trainer Marshall Kaufman, who has been working with Rahman the last five weeks in Reading, Pa., has restored what Nelson describes as "the Rock's aggressive behaviour in the ring" plus much better endurance.

"Hasim and I met Marshall during the promotion of the Rock's last fight," Nelson said. "At the time, Rock was sparring with Marshall's son, Travis. We began to talk, Rock liked both of them and that's how it all got started."

Kaufmann, from the training camp, said "Rahman has been working hard. It's like we've been cramming for a test in five weeks after being off for nine months. He looks fantastic. He's dropped a lot of weight in camp."

It will be Rahman's first fight since his loss to Oleg Maskaev in Las Vegas last August 12.

Rahman vs. Sykes will be on the VERSUS network on Thursday night. Lightweight sensation Kid Diamond, an extremely hard puncher, will defend his NABF 135-pound title against Miguel Angel Huerta who is handled by Frank Espinoza of Los Angeles.

Nick Charles and Wally Matthews will call the action on VERSUS