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Rahman appears likely to fight Tua for 3rd time

Baltimore heavyweight Hasim Rahman apparently will get a third shot at David Tua, this time for the World Boxing Association title held by Roy Jones, in accordance with a mandate by that organization.

The WBA has ordered a purse bid for a title bout between Rahman and Tua, the organization's next-highest contenders for Jones' title.

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Jones, who rose from the light heavyweight division to dethrone then-WBA champ John Ruiz, said he is dropping back down to light heavyweight for a bout against highly rated Antonio Tarver on Nov. 8.

"We received a letter from the WBA advising us that the title is becoming vacant and that they were mandating Rock to fight David Tua for the title," said Steve Nelson, Rahman's co-manager, along with Stan Hoffman.

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"Roy made his choice, and for him, I think it's a good one," Hoffman said. "But he's going to be stripped [for failure to defend against the next highest-rated contender]. That's the name of the game."

Rahman (35-4-1, 29 knockouts), the former World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization champ, is 0-1-1 against Tua (42-3-1, 37 KOs), but he feels he is 2-0.

Rahman was far ahead on points in their 1998 fight when a late punch after the ninth round hurt him and Tua won by knockout in the 10th. Having failed to receive recovery time for the foul, Rahman felt cheated.

In a March rematch, Rahman jabbed Tua's eyes puffy, bloodied his nose, and floored him at the bell ending the 12th and final round.

"I had a feeling Roy didn't want to fight me or Tua, and that this fight was going to happen," said Rahman, the only heavyweight with knockout wins over both WBC champ Lennox Lewis and WBO champ Corrie Sanders.

"Once I knock out David Tua, I can put an end to our rivalry."

Don King, who promotes both Rahman and Jones, said the purse bid is schedule for Sept. 5.

"The next step is for Don to start negotiations with David Tua's promoter, Cedric Kushner," Nelson said. "If they can work out a deal together before the purse bid, they'll come to their fighters with it."


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