The show goes on for Hasim Rahman Jr.
A new opponent has been secured for the second-generation heavyweight, who will now face former NFL defensive end and current pro rookie Greg Hardy atop Saturday’s Misfits Boxing x DAZN show from Moody Center in Austin, Texas. Hardy replaces former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort, who was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid as previously reported by BoxingScene.com.
“I’m excited man, this is my chance to show that I belong in the boxing world,” said Hardy. “I know plenty about the Rahman name as boxers, and I know he was preparing for Vitor, but I’m definitely confident and prepared to show people I can box.”
Hardy (1-0, 1KOs) previously played for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers while having also competed as a mixed martial artist on the UFC circuit where he won seven bouts. Hardy—who is now based in South Florida—has since made his way to boxing, where he won his pro debut via second round knockout on October 8 in Delray Beach, Florida
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Hardy’s name was mentioned along with former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs (60-6-1, 53KOs) to face Rahman Jr. (12-1, 6KOs). As it turns out, both will be in the opposite corner as Briggs will serve as Hardy’s trainer for Saturday’s new main event.
The new fight helps salvage what has been a bizarre year for Rahman, whose only fight in 2022 to date was a fifth-round stoppage loss to James McKenzie Morrison. The battle of unbeaten second-generation heavyweights saw Rahman soundly outbox McKenzie-Morrison—the son of the late, former WBO heavyweight titlist Tommy Morrison—through four rounds before it was suddenly stopped midway through the fifth round of their April 29 clash in his Las Vegas hometown.
Rahman—whose father Hasim Rahman Sr. was a former two-time heavyweight champ—resurfaced in early summer, agreeing to face Jake Paul (6-0, 4KOs) on roughly one month’s notice. The opportunity became available when England’s Tommy Fury was unable to secure a travel visa necessary to fly to the U.S. from the U.K. to proceed with the planned August 6 Showtime Pay-Per-View event from Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The fight with Paul was originally announced to conditionally take place at 200 pounds. It was later modified to 205 by the New York State Athletic Commission due to pre-fight weight checks suggesting that Rahman—who’d never weighed lighter than 211 ¼ as a pro—could not safely make the cruiserweight limit. It proved moot, as the event was canceled by the Paul side one week out from fight night.
Rahman confirmed later in the summer that he signed with the Misfits Boxing series created by YouTube boxing pioneer KSI. He was originally due to face Belfort atop the Misfits Boxing 002 show on October 15 in Sheffield, England. The card proceeded but without the heavyweight fight which was relocated to Austin to headline the third installment of the Misfit Boxing series and its U.S. debut.
The rest of Saturday’s show remains intact, with the undercard featuring an interesting mix of content creators, reality stars and former athletes from other sports.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox