The promoters for Baltimore native Hasim Rahman and Oleg Maskaev came to contractual terms yesterday after three days of negotiations in New York, clearing the way for Rahman to defend his World Boxing Council title against his Kazahkstan-born challenger Aug. 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
"Everything is all set," said Rahman's promoter, Bob Arum, whose agreement with Maskaev's promoter, Dennis Rappaport, averted a WBC-mandated purse bid had the two sides not reached agreement before the May 1 deadline.
The fight is being billed "America's Last Line of Defense," a reference to the fact that Rahman, 33, is the only U.S. heavyweight holding one of the four major belts. The others are Wladimir Klitschko (International Boxing Federation), Nicolay Valuev (World Boxing Association) and Serguei Lyakhovich (World Boxing Organization).
"America is on my watch right now because the Eastern Europeans are trying to take all of the belts, and I'm not having it," said Rahman (41-5-2, 33 knockouts).email@example.com