19 years ago: Hasim Rahman knocked out Lennox Lewis

Hasim Rahman - Lennox Lewis (Photo: PuzzlePix Photo Agency)

On April 22, 2001, Hasim Rahman from USA managed to shock the boxing world by beating IBO / IBF / WBC heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis. The battle between the two boxers took place in Brakpan, South Africa, where Rahman knocked out the British world champion in the fifth round. It was a huge surprise because Lewis was clearly the odds of the fight. He also led the scores until the KO. Also part of the story is that the British boxer reportedly didn’t put too much emphasis on preparation because he was just busy filming a movie, while Rahman took it very seriously.

After the surprising defeat, Lewis said:

“This the heavyweight, if someone is hit here with an accurate punch, it’s practically the end of the fight. You step into a punch, you get to the floor, and the counting comes. I can’t believe what happened. He caught me with a big punch, but soon after I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t even understand for the first time in the clamp what had happened. Such is boxing, he deservedly won because he brutally took advantage of my inattention. I feel like I was in control of the match, I didn’t even think anything was wrong. Rahman did what he had to do. He waited for me to make a mistake and took advantage of my mistake. ”


Rahman’s joy didn’t last long as Lewis knocked him out in the November rematch in the fourth round and regained his world title.