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Rahman may fight his way to No. 1 ranking


The International Boxing Federation has confirmed Baltimore heavyweight Hasim Rahman as its No. 6 contender and has sanctioned his HBO-televised, 12-round fight against No. 5 Danell Nicholson on Oct. 7 as an elimination bout for its No. 1 ranking.

Rahman's co-manager, Steven Nelson, also confirmed the site of the bout as The Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.

Rahman (34-2, 28 knockouts) said yesterday he will relinquish the World Boxing Council belt, which he won by knocking out South African southpaw Corrie Sanders earlier this year. Nicholson is 38-3 with 29 knockouts.

David Tua (37-1), the IBF's No. 1 contender, is fighting Lennox Lewis for that belt and Lewis' WBC crown Nov. 11 in Las Vegas. The Rahman-Nicholson winner would be next, according to IBF rules.

The co-main event features Russian Oleg Maskaev (20-2, 15 KOs) against Kirk Johnson (29-0-1, 21 KOs).

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