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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 03:14 GMT 04:14 UK
Holyfield handed Rahman verdict
Evander Holyfield lands a big punch on Hasim Rahman
Evander Holyfield was given the nod by the judges
Evander Holyfield claimed a technical split decision over Hasim Rahman in a heavyweight non-title bout on Saturday.

The fight was stopped in the eighth round following an accidental head butt.

With a large bump forming over Rahman's left eye, referee Tony Orlando stopped the fight one minute 40 seconds into the eighth round.

Hasim Rahman was unable to continue
The referee had no option but to end the fight

That sent the decision to the judges, who scored the fight 2-1 for the four-time world champion Holyfield.

Holyfield was ahead 69-64 on two judges' cards with Rahman leading 67-66 on the other.

The victory improves Holyfield's record to 38-5-2 and could see him meet the winner of the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson bout in Memphis.

"It was good that the referee stopped the fight, I've never seen anything like that," he said.

"I tried not to play much attention to it but I just kept trying to hit it."

It puts the four-time former champion at the front of the line for another title shot with either Tyson or Lewis.

Holyfield still has ambitions to become the undisputed world champion for a fifth time before he retires.


It's not over,we can do it again. I don't feel like he can beat me
Hasim Rahman

"One of the guys who wins next week might want a big payday," said Holyfield who will turn 40 in October.

"So I'll fight the winner of that fight or the winner of Ruiz-Johnson.

"But I'd rather fight Lennox or Tyson."

It is the second consecutive loss for Rahman (35-4), who was knocked out by Lewis last November in Las Vegas as the Brition reclaimed his WBC and IBF crowns.

"I'm very disappointed the way the fight ended," said Rahman.

"He hit me with some vicious head butts right from the start he cut me with a head butt in the first or second round.

"I definitely don't feel I lost that fight."

Holyfield, who will turn 40 in October, has flatly rejected any suggestion of retirement saying he would contine until he regains the undisputed world championship for a fifth time.

See also:

31 May 02 | Boxing
16 Apr 02 | Boxing
18 Dec 01 | Boxing
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