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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Heavyweight Hasim Rahman vowed Wednesday to take the IBF and WBC titles from Lennox Lewis in their upcoming bout.
In a joint news conference marking the first meeting of the boxers, Lewis said that wouldn’t happen.
``He’s trying to get my titles ... right now,″ Lewis said. ``I’m not going to allow that.″
Lewis said he was looking forward to the fight April 22 because it was his first bout in Africa, where his childhood hero, Mohammed Ali, once fought. Ali beat George Foreman in 1974 in Zaire, the central African country now known as Congo.
Rahman thanked Lewis for giving him a shot at the title and declared that he was prepared, focused and hungry. Jokingly, Rahman promised he would give Lewis a rematch after he had won the title.
``I’m just not giving it up,″ Rahman said. ``I look at Lewis as just a man. Regardless of what he’s accomplished, he’s still a man.″