By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Correspondent
In exclusive interviews with Real Combat Media, super middleweight and light heavyweight prospect Iceman Antowyan Aikens, and his opponent, Yasin ‘The Assassin’ Abdur-Rashid, talked to Real Combat Media after their six rounder at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York,on May 24, 2013, on a seven bout card promoted by Diane Fischer’s Dee Lee Promotions. Aikens won a unanimous decision, by scores of 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55 on the judge’s scorecards, though the bout was far closer than the cards indicated.
Yasin ‘The Assassin’ Rashid did not get to meet ‘The Easton Assassin’ as Larry Holmes, the former heavyweight champion scheduled to make a meet and greet appearance and the card, did not show up on a rainy night, but probably will appear at a future Dee Lee Promotions card at this venue in the future.
Rashid tried to fight his way inside, but missed for most of the six rounds. Aikens, with height and reach advantage, was faster and able to get out of the way and frustrate his opponent. Aikens did not seem to throw many counters, preferring to tie his man up inside. Rashid did win the second round, which Aikens took off for the most part covering up off and on the ropes while moving around the ring to ‘save something’ for later in the fight. Rashid’s game plan failed, but he felt he won the bout because he was the aggressor coming forward. Aikens appeared to win because he was able to counter at times while making Rashid miss. The bout could be classified as a frustrating war, or a failure to get inside and reach the big guy.
Real Combat Media interviewed Aikens in the ring following the win.
Real Combat Media: “Tell us about the fight, Antowyan?”
Antowyan Aikens: ” I had to regroup after the first round, so I took the second round off.”
Real Combat Media: “Rashid wanted to brawl inside with you. You didn’t fall for the trap.”
Antowyan Aikens: “Rashid tried to turn the fight ugly. I didn’t. I’m a boxer. I gotta do what I gotta do. So I outboxed him.”
Real Combat Media: “How did you outwork Rashid in the later rounds?”
Antowyan Aikens: “I picked up the pace as the bout progressed. In my fights, there’s always gonna be more of that (a faster tempo in the later rounds). Give the faster pace as my bout went on, Rashid didn’t land his punches.”
Real Combat Media interviewed Yasin Rashid on the Metro North train while traveling south from White Plains to Grand Central Station in New York City.
Real Combat Media: “Yasin, you have a winning record, but appeared less than prepared for this fight in losing what appeared a close decision. Is that the case?”
Yasin Rashid: ” My hand speed, my timing, everything was off. I didn’t know my leverage, my distance, as I was not able to prepare properly for this bout.”
Real Combat Media: “Why did you take the bout as a late opponent?”
Yasin Rashid: “Aikens record was 6-0, with one knockout. I figured he had no power and I could force the issue. You could really tell he didn’t want to mix it up. When I got inside, he held me.”
Real Combat Media: “Talk about positioning during the six round bout.”
Yasin Rashid: “Aikens fought smart by standing on the outside out of range. When I got in range, he held. After that he started holding.”
Real Combat Media: “A six to eight week camp is really the only way to prepare for a professional bout. If you did that, do you feel you could have won the bout? You should only take bouts with proper preparation in the future.”
Yasin Rashid: “I was inactive for eight months. I should have beaten Aikens. I saw the bout offered as an opportunity bout-so I took it. Your advice is correct. I intend to follow it in the future.”