This Day in Boxing

Lennox Lewis KOs Hasim Rahman This Day November 17, 2001

Lennox Lewis KOs Hasim Rahman This Day November 17, 2001

Lewis regains the heavyweight crown


Lennox Lewis 246½ lbs

Hasim Rahman 236 lbs

KO at 1:29 in round 4 of 12

Location: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Referee: Joe Cortez

Judge: Patricia Morse Jarman 30-27

Judge: Dave Moretti 30-27

Judge: Dalby Shirley 30-27

World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title (1st defense by Rahman)

International Boxing Federation Heavyweight Title (1st defense by Rahman)



After defeating Lewis to win the title, Rahman signed with promoter Don King. Rahman was given a $5 million signing bonus, reportedly in the form of a $4.5 million check and $500,000 in cash. Rahman’s deal with King would have earned him $5 million for a title defense against Denmark’s Brian Nielsen on August 4, 2001. A win over Nielsen would have set up a $15 million unification bout against the winner of a third fight between WBA champion John Ruiz and Evander Holyfield, after which King would match Rahman against either Lewis for $20 million or Mike Tyson for $30 million.

Rahman turned down deals from Showtime and HBO.

Showtime’s deal, which included a non-refundable signing bonus of $3 million, offered Rahman $13.15 million to make his first title defense against Mike Tyson. There would be an additional five bouts with purses ranging from $6 to $10 million if he beat Tyson. If Rahman lost to Tyson, he would still be guaranteed at least one more fight on Showtime.

HBO offered Rahman $14 million to make his first title defense against Lewis. If he beat Lewis, HBO would give him a six-fight deal with purses escalating from $5.5 million to $7 million per fight. If he lost to Lewis, he would still be guaranteed $3 million for two more bouts on HBO.

Maintaining he had a rematch clause with Rahman, Lewis filed a lawsuit to force an immediate rematch. U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled in favor of Lewis, stating that Rahman had to either fight Lewis or not fight at all for the next 18 months.

For the rematch, Lewis made $11 million and Rahman got $10 million.

Lewis was a 5-2 favorite.

Lewis knocked out Rahman in the fourth round with a monstrous right hand.

Lewis landed 72 of 144 punches, while Rahman connected on 48 of 105.

Paid attendance at the Mandalay Bay Events Center was $9,830, and the gross gate was $7,537,400.

The fight generated 460,000 pay-per-view buys and $23 million in revenue.

“Has-Been Rahman, that’s my new name for him now. The Buster Douglas of the 21st century,” Lewis said after the fight. “I told you that punch was a lucky punch in South Africa. I had too many attributes for him.”

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