Heavyweight prospect Hasim Rahman Jr is set to make his professional debut this upcoming Friday in his home state of Mayland. The bout will take place at the MGM National Harbor and will serve as a very important beginning for Rahman, who hopes to follow in his fathers footsteps and win a heavyweight title.
I recently had a chance to speak to Hasim Rahman Jr about his upcoming debut bout this Friday and get his thoughts on starting his professional boxing career. Rahman Jr also talks about following in his fathers foot steps and what he thinks he can accomplish in the division. Additionally, Hasim talked about Wladimir Klitschko vs. Anthony Joshua and shares his views on a potential Mayweather-McGregor fight. Here is what Hasim Rahman Jr had to say.
(Click play to listen to the full interview in which Rahman talks about his time away from boxing and gives his view on Ward-Kovalev II and Canelo vs GGG)
Robert Brown: How do you feel about the fight coming up and how has the preparation been going so far?
Hasim Rahman Jr: Preparation is excellent. I would give myself an A for this camp, I’m really excited and I can’t wait unil April 14th so I can show off for all my fans. I’m ready to show the world what I can do, as opposed to being in there and watching what other fighters can do. It’s my turn to prove that I am a true champion and I’ve been taking this sport seriously, and I’m ready to do damage in the heavyweight division.
Robert Brown: Are you looking for a knockout in your pro debut?
Hasim Rahman Jr: If it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I don’t go in there looking for a knockout, I go in there and it’s all instincts to me. If the knockout comes when I punch him, then it comes. If it doesn’t come, then I’ll continue to box the way that I know how to box. I truly believe that no heavyweight in the world can outbox me, and this is boxing, this isn’t a slugfest or rock ’em sock ’em robots or anything like that.
I’m going to go in, I’m gonna be smart and I’m going to put my hands on this man. If I put my hands on him and he stays up, then more power to him, but I doubt he will be able to last for four rounds. When you go in there looking for a knockout, that’s typically when you get hurt. I’ve been around the game a long time and I know that I’m going in there looking to box, and if the knockout comes, it comes.
Robert Brown: Your dad is a heavyweight legend, how much pressure does that put on you to possibly surpass your fathers legacy?
Hasim Rahman Jr: It’s a tremendous amount of pressure, but I’ve been dealing with it my whole life, so I’m not going to respond the way a normal person would respond under this amount of pressure. This is high pressure situation, it’s going to be a hostile environment, the crowd is going to be loud. It’s going to be great.
I’ve never done this pro fighting before, so it is a lot of pressure but I can’t wait to experience it so that we can get on to the next one. Right now the next one is scheduled for April 21st, the day my father knocked out Lennox Lewis, so it’s a real good start for me.
Robert Brown: How do you feel about the heavyweight division now?
Hasim Rahman Jr: I feel like the heavyweight division should be put on notice because Hasim Rahman is back. Hasim Rahman has been a dominant name in the heavyweight division for a long time, and now he’s back. It’s like putting Hasim Rahman right back in the picture.
Now I’m refreshed and I have the power, I have the speed, I have the experience, I have the boxing ability to outbox anybody in the world. I believe that at my best — maybe not right now — with the proper training and the proper team and guidance, I am the best fighter in the world, hands down.y Anyone they put in front of me, whether it’s Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, anybody can be beat. The one person who proved that is Hasim ‘The Rock’ Rahman, and I’m back here to prove it. It can happen.
Robert Brown: Who do you think is going to win the fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko?
Hasim Rahman Jr: This is a unique situation because Klitschko is coming off of a loss. The last time we saw a situation like this was when my father knocked out Lennox Lewis. Lenox Lewis was on top of the division exactly how Wladimir was. Klitschko is coming back with that hunger, he has an edge. They’re putting this young lion, a gold medalist, a strong champion in there with him — and he’s tall enough to get to Wladimir. I think because Klitschko is coming off of a loss and has so much to prove, I think he’s going to put on a beautiful boxing display.
Robert Brown: There’s talk of Floyd Mayweather fighting MMA fighter, Conor McGregor. Do you think this fight will be good or bad for the sport?
Hasim Rahman Jr: I think that Mayweather is going to punish Conor McGregor. I’m not taking anything away from Conor McGregor because I was training in a UFC gym just to get back into it and move around a little bit, and I’m telling you, I have a whole new respect for those guys because it’s not easy. I tell you one thing, it is not boxing, and when Conor McGregor gets in there, he’s basically making his pro debut, just like I’m making my pro debut.
He’s going to be in with Floyd Mayweather, that would be equivalent to me making my pro debut against Wladimir Klitschko. I don’t think Conor McGregor has a chance, I don’t think it’s going to make boxing look bad at all. I honestly think the UFC should be a little bit concerned about how it’s going to make their sport look because Conor McGregor is going to get his ass whooped.