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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rahman Pounds Foster In Rock-Solid Display




American Hasim Rahman has proved he deserves to be compared with the likes of Mike Tyson as one of the top contenders for boxing's superheavyweight crown.


Rahman, 25, nicknamed "The Rock," needed a little more than three minutes Saturday to stun his opponent, American Melvin Foster, and then finish him off with a big right hand at Moscow's Olympiisky sports complex. After two knockdowns in a span of 10 seconds early in Round 2, the referee stopped the fight.


"I knew I could take him down any time, but I didn't rush and took my time in the first round," said Rahman, who trains regularly with Foster in Baltimore, Maryland.


Rahman, ranked No. 3 by the International Boxing Federation and undefeated in 27 professional fights with 22 knockouts, now hopes for a title shot against world champion Evander Holyfield.


Although Rahman was no doubt the main attraction Saturday, the night's most entertaining bout probably took place between two women -- Russian world champion Zulfia Kutdyusova and challenger Gwen Smith of the United States.


Kutdyusova, 26, backed up by the partisan home crowd, retained her crown, winning a tough 10-round decision over Smith, 36.


Although the veteran American was clearly losing the bout to her younger opponent, she continued fighting even though her right eye was almost closed by the fifth round.


"I just couldn't stop," Smith said. "I'm used to fighting until the end."


In other action, the world's biggest boxer, Russia's Nikolai Valuyev, weighing 147 kilograms and standing 2.18 meters tall, had little trouble with Jeff Huffman, registering a second-round knockout of the American for his 15th win in as many bouts.


Another Russian, supermiddleweight Roman Karmazin, successfully defended his World Boxing Board title against American Jeffrey Johnson.


The referee also stopped that contest in the second round after a quick left-right combination by Karmazin sent the challenger to the floor.