Lewis knocks out Rahman in fourth round to regain WBC, IBF heavyweight boxing titles

Sunday, November 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Lennox Lewis said it wasn't possible for him to lose a second time to Hasim Rahman, and he was right.

Lewis regained the WBC and IBF heavyweight boxing titles on a fourth-round knockout of Rahman on Saturday night.

Lewis became the fourth man to regain the heavyweight championship from the fighter to whom he had lost it. The others were Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield.

The end came 1:29 into the round when Lewis landed a left-right and then a crashing right that dropped Rahman on his back.

``I never saw the punch coming,'' Rahman said.

The punch was every bit as devastating as the right hand Rahman used to knock out Lewis on April 22.

All three judges gave Lewis the first three rounds. The AP gave Lewis two of the first three.

According to a CompuBox punch analysis, Lewis landed 72 of 144 punches thrown and Rahman got home with 48 of 105.

The stunning ending preserved the 36-year-old Lewis' career. He said if he couldn't beat Rahman, there was no sense in continuing to fight.

Lewis, of Britain, was a 5-2 favorite.

He now could get a rich fight with Mike Tyson.

Rahman landed several good jabs in the first two rounds, but never got in a punch that rattled Lewis.

The 29-year-old Rahman, of Abingdon, Md., lost for the third time _ all by knockout _ against 35 wins. He has 29 knockouts.

Lewis is now 39-2-1 with 30 knockouts. His record in championship fights is 13-2-1 with eight knockouts.

Each fighter made a minimum of $10 million for the pay-per-view match. Lewis will make much more than that should he fight Tyson.