Boxer literally leaves ring, refuses to fight opponent

Heavyweight boxer Hasim Rahman Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) was supposed to fight Joseph Coats (0-0) last Thursday in Durham, North Carolina. Instead, Rahman Jr. will be fighting on November 4th in Virginia, because Coats literally bailed on the fight. Seriously.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael has the details:

The two boxers were in the ring and as the introductions were about to be made to the audience, Coats, who was supposed to make his professional debut, decided not to fight. He left the ring and returned to the dressing room.

Coats, trained by highly regarded trainer Don Turner, who used to train Hall of Fame former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, at first refused to leave his dressing room for the fight.

Forty minutes later Coats agreed to fight and made his way to the ring, only to refuse to fight again, this time leaving the ring. Coats faces a suspension by North Carolina regulators.

Coats’ decision not to face Rahman Jr. remains unexplained. If you watch the video at the top of the page, it shows the ring announcer (somewhat bizarrely) saying that Coats will be suspended permanently by the commission, and he also declared Rahman Jr. the winner. You can see Hasim in the ring when the announcement is made, as well as the reaction from the crowd. Rahman Jr’s Boxrec page indicates that his record is unchanged.

Oh, boxing. Never stop being crazy.

And yes, as the name would imply, Rahman Jr. is the son of former champion Hasim Rahman, just in case some of you want to feel that much older.

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