Rahman-Toney: Round-by-Round

Originally Published: December 3, 2005
By David Cooper | ESPN.com

A round-by-round account of the heavyweight title bout between WBC champion Hasim "The Rock" Rahman (41-5-2, 33 KOs) of Baltimore, and James "Lights Out" Toney (69-4-3, 43 KOs) of Detroit, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Unofficially, ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael, who was at ringside, had it 115-114 Rahman, while the scorecard below resulted in a 115-113 outcome for Rahman.

The ringside judges scored the bout 117-111 Rahman; 114-all twice for a majority draw. Rahman retains his WBC heavyweight title belt.



Unofficial scorecard
Round
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Total
Rahman
10
10
9
9
10
10
9
10
10
9
9
10
115
Toney
9
9
10
10
9
9
10
9
9
10
10
9
113

Round 1

Both fighters come out the gate quickly. Toney starts out with a diet of lefts. Rahman stands his ground. Rahman gets in a right that scores. Toney is throwing more to the body, but is establishing his left jab. Rahman lands a left jab. Toney still has a left-right cadence that's effective. Rahman lands two lefts to Toney's face. Rahman gets two successive lefts to the chin again. Toney lands a left, only to see Rahman respond quickly. Rahman grazes Toney with a right at the end of the round.
ESPN.com scores it: Rahman 10-9

Round 2

Rahman continues his aggressiveness, but Toney proves tough to hit. Rahman lands a right, Toney countering to the body. Rahman scoring with his left jab. Toney lands an overhand right, but Rahman comes right back. Toney fights out of the ropes. Rahman presses the attack. Toney counters effectively. Both fighters are trading solid shots. Now it's Rahman's turn to fight out of the ropes. A lot of in-close punches being exchanged by both fighters. The pace is upbeat.
ESPN.com scores it: Rahman 10-9

Round 3

Rahman takes it again to Toney, but Toney continues to counter. Toney swings two overhand rights that land. Rahman keeps coming. A Rahman right staggers Toney, but he's not too fazed. Both fighters dig in, still trading shots. Rahman works the body. Both fighters trade volleys of punches. Toney gets off a combination, ending with a left that catches Rahman. Rahman stays in close, looking to score with his jab. Toney lands another overhand right, then a left-right as then round ends.
ESPN.com scores it: Toney 10-9

Round 4

This round starts a bit slower as both fighters settle into measuring each other. Toney is taking Rahman's shots better. Toney is scoring with his left. Both fighters are slowing down a bit, but continue to trade punches. Few punches thrown by either fighter go unanswered. Rahman tries working the body, almost playing into Toney's hands. Toney's counterpunching is working for him. Toney lands a left in the final 20 seconds. Rahman gets off a combination to end the round.
ESPN.com scores it: Toney 10-9

Round 5

Toney starts out with a left that lands to the face. Toney continues to throw his jab. Rahman responds with two left jabs. Toney gets in an overhand right, followed by a left. Rahman responds with two lefts. Rahman gets in a left hook; Toney misses with his right. Rahman briefly opens up some distance instead of pursuing, looking for an opening. Toney misses wildly with a right. Rahman continues his steady, in-close attack. Rahman lands to the body, following up with his jab. Toney counters with a left and a right, but those shots are blocked.
ESPN.com scores it: Rahman 10-9

Round 6

Rahman starts out with a left jab that misses, then clenches. Toney gets in a series of shots, but Rahman responds with one-two punches. Toney counters with brief combinations. Both fighters lean on each other. Rahman keeps throwing punches toward an opponent who rolls his shoulder to avoid impact. The action gets a bid dull, to the chagrin of the crowd. The pace gets more spirited in the final minute. Both fighters are trading shots up close. Rahman has Toney on the ropes. A wild right by Toney misses at the bell.
ESPN.com scores it: Rahman 10-9

Round 7

Both fighters start cautiously, probably because of fatigue. The up-close, gritty exchange continues. Toney scores with a right uppercut. Rahman continues to throw shots to the body. Toney gets in a left-right, though the combination is partuially blocked. Rahman stands his ground and maintains pursuit. Toney lands a left jab. Rahman works the body with his right. Rahman lands a right to the face. Toney counters. Toney gets in a short left, Rahman a right as the bell sounds.
ESPN.com scores it: Toney 10-9

Round 8

Rahman starts out with a right to the face. Toney responds with his left. Toney lands an overhand right. Toney gets in a left, and another left. Rahman takes Toney to the ropes. Toney fights out of the ropes, and scoring. Toney loses his balance briefly, but is not compromised. Both fighters move less but punch more. Toney, still on the ropes, gets in timely lefts. Rahman continues to drive Toney into the corner. Toney gets in a left hook. The inner battle is seemingly takes a toll, but Rahman appears to get the better of Toney in the corner.
ESPN.com scores it: Rahman 10-9

Round 9

After a slow start, Toney begins to throw a left-right combination in the center of the ring. Toney lands a straight right hand. Rahman is consistent in pursuing Toney. Toney draws Rahman to the ropes. Toney appears to be employing a rope-a-dope strategy, resting while Rahman punches. Rahman, however, continues to be busy. Toney can't afford to remain on the ropes, unless he's looking for the knockout. Rahman finishes with a combination to end the round.
ESPN.com scores it: Rahman 10-9

Round 10

Toney and Rahman dig into each other. The round is slow throughout, to Toney's advantage. Toney lands a left. Rahman gets in two left jabs. Toney and Rahman lean on each other. It's a sloppy round, but Toney gets the better of it.
ESPN.com scores it: Toney 10-9

Round 11

Rahman works the body with a series of rights. Toney counters, Rahman holds him close, hitting Toney with more rights to the ribs. Both fighters trade punches. Toney lands a right that connects. Toney gets in a left jab, but Rahman retaliates with two left jabs. Rahman stays with the jab, while Toney counters. Toney lands a left jab before Rahman grabs. The crowd boos at the slowdown. Toney lands an overhand right, followed by another right. The action picks up at the end, but Toney takes this round.
ESPN.com scores it: Toney 10-9

Round 12

Toney comes out with a right that misses; Rahman grabs and tries to pepper Toney with rights to the ribs. The referee separates them. Toney tries to rally, but Rahman stays consistent in his pursuit. Rahman gets in a right, but Toney rolls away from it. Rahman works the body some more as the fighters engage. Rahman knows he's in control of the round. But Toney becomes more active in the final minute, but is inconsistent in getting to Rahman. Rahman drives Toney back to the ropes and finishes with a flourish.
ESPN.com scores it: Rahman 10-9

David Cooper, who was ESPN.com's boxing editor in 2006-07, contributes round-by-round accounts of the major bouts of the year.

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