HASIM RAHMAN vs. OLEG MASKAEV II“ AMERICA’S LAST LINE OF DEFENSE!”
AMERICA’S ONLY WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION HASIM RAHMAN IN HIS ULTIMATE CHALLENGE VS. OLEG MASKAEV OF KAZAKHSTAN
Las Vegas – America’s only world heavyweight champion, Baltimore-born Hasim Rahman
, will defend his world title for pride, honor and country when he takes on hard-punching No. 1-rated contender and mandatory challenger Oleg Maskaev of Kazakhstan, at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, on Saturday, August 12.
Rahman is the last remaining American to hold a world heavyweight title in a division dominated by natives of the former Soviet Union.
“The Rock is America’s Last Line of Defense,” said Bob Arum of Top Rank. “He’s a great champion but he’s in very tough against Maskaev.”
Rahman vs. Maskaev II is promoted by Top Rank in association with Dennis Rappaport Productions, Caesars Palace and Wynn Las Vegas. Rahman vs. Maskaev II will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View. Tickets are $600, $400, $300, $200, $100, $50 and can be purchased at the Thomas and Mack box office, online at www.unlvtickets.com or by calling (702) 739-FANS.
"Rahman-Maskaev II is a very intriguing heavyweight title fight," said Mark Taffet of HBO Pay-Per-View. "Rahman wants to defend his belt and avenge his 1999 loss to Maskaev, and Maskaev is just as determined to win again."
In their previous bout in 1999, Maskaev rallied late and slammed Rahman with an overhand right which sent him through the ropes head-first and onto the HBO announcing team table. It was a chilling, riveting finish with Maskaev getting the stoppage in the eighth round.
That was seven years ago and Dennis Rappaport, the promoter of Maskaev, said “Oleg has had a lot of peaks and valleys since that win over Rahman. But Oleg has battled back and he has earned his position as the #1 challenger.”
Maskaev grew up in Abai, Kazakhstan where he labored on a farm, worked in a coal mine, joined the Russian Army, became a Lieutenant, joined the Russian Amateur Boxing Team, became a National Champion and stopped Vitali Klitschko in one round.
At the age of 33, Hasim is an 11-year pro. A two-time heavyweight world champion, he defended the WBC heavyweight world title in his last fight with a 12 round draw against former three-time world champion James Toney on March 18.
After the fight, Hasim said, “The heavyweight division needed a good fight. I think we put on a good fight. He can punch harder than a lot of heavyweights I’ve been in with. He’s brave, he’s got heart, he’s got speed, power, he’s a force to be reckoned with. I ain’t ashamed to admit I learned a thing or two from James Toney tonight. James proved he could stand up to a heavyweight power puncher. I earned some respect from James, and he earned some respect from me.”
Hasim won the WBC interim heavyweight world title in August, 2005, with a 12-round unanimous decision against Monte Barrett.
Hasim was first scheduled to challenge WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko on April 30 for the title, but the fight was postponed and rescheduled twice - on June 18 and July 23 - due to injuries sustained by Klitschko. The WBC authorized the fight for the interim title in Klitschko’s absence, with the condition that Klitschko fight the winner in his next fight.
Hasim was again scheduled to fight Klitschko on November 12, but Klitschko was again injured in training and retired. Having won the interim world title and the world title vacated, according to WBC rules, Hasim became WBC heavyweight world champion. It was the same WBC rule that applied when Lennox Lewis and Ken Norton became WBC heavyweight world champions after winning final world title eliminators.
The Rahman vs. Maskaev pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on August 12 has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be distributed domestically by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 56 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in high-definition television for those viewers who are HDTV capable. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry.
Rahman vs. Maskaev daily updates can be found during fight week at www.HBO.com
Lee Samuels/Dena duBoef, Top Rank (702) 732-2717
Ricardo Jimenez, Top Rank (909) 615-3436
Bill Caplan, Top Rank (818) 515-1616
Kelly Swanson, Rahman Interviews (202) 783-5500
Fred Sternburg, Sternburg Communications (303) 740-7746
Dennis Rappaport Productions (718) 528-4086
Ken Langdon, Caesars Palace (702)-731-7506
Alyssa Bushey, Caesars Palace (702) 731-7216
Brandon Cox, Wynn Las Vegas (702) 770-2107
Ray Stallone, HBO (212)-512-1987