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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 March 2006, 05:21 GMT
Rahman keeps crown following draw
Hasim Rahman and James Toney
Toney landed some big right hands on the chin of Rahman
Hasim Rahman kept his WBC heavyweight title after his fight with James Toney in Atlantic City was ruled a draw.

Rahman was rated a 117-111 winner by one judge, but the other two had it 114-114, following 12 closely fought rounds with no knockdowns.

The fight was Rahman's first defence of the title he was awarded when former champion Vitali Klitschko retired.

"I'm the champ, I won the bout clean," said Rahman. "If we fight again we will make adjustments and do better."

Neither fighter scored a knockdown in the fight, which saw lots of action at close quarters and Rahman taking the fight to the challenger.

Toney, who spent much of the encounter leaning back on the ropes and reeling off counter-punches, threw fewer punches but landed the cleaner shots.

There is no secret about fighting James Toney, it's a matter of how much he eats
Hasim Rahman

"I thought I won it by two or three points," said former three-weight world champion Toney, 37. "I thought we had the edge. James Toney is still the best fighter in the world."

While the bout, which was shown free-to-air on American television, had been billed as a fight to reveal the true heavyweight king, it was lacking in fireworks.

The 6ft 2in Rahman, 33, had a big height and reach advantage but fought on Toney's terms up close.

Toney was the more explosive, unleashing overhand right leads and hurtful uppercuts after soaking up Rahman's work on the inside.

Toney landed three big rights in the third round but Rahman answered with a powerful right of his own that sent the challenger stumbling across the ring.

Rahman was cut on the lip in the seventh and over the eye after an exciting exchange against the ropes in the eighth.

But the champion was never in serious trouble and was more industrious than his 5ft 9in, 237lb rival.

"I felt his power, he felt my power," Rahman added. "There is no secret about fighting James Toney, it's a matter of how much he eats. If he comes in around 220, it's a much more difficult fight."

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