Name: Zahir Raheem
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Height: 5′ 6″ / 168cm
Reach: 70″ / 178cm
Boxing Record: click
As an amateur, Raheem represented the United States in the 1996 Olympic Games, boxing as a Bantamweight. Raheem was eliminated in the 2nd round, after he was stopped in the 1st round.
Raheem's professional career did not begin with as much success as many of his Olympic teammates. Boxing as a Featherweight, Raheem was plagued by an infrequent fight schedule, and a southpaw style felt by some as unexciting. Raheem scored his first notable victory in 2002 with an 8th round TKO over faded former world champion Luisito Espinosa. However the win didn't move his career forward significantly, as Raheem won five bouts over lesser opposition in 2003 and early 2004. On July 17, 2004, Raheem was matched against 2000 U.S. Olympian Rocky Juarez in Juarez's hometown of Houston, Texas. Raheem lost a unanimous decision to Juarez, as he was knocked down in the 4th round, and had three points deducted for holding. Raheem and others felt that the officiating of local official Robert Gonzalez had been heavily biased against him; as a result, the loss did not damage his career significantly.
Raheem bounced back with a February 2005 win over Jose Quintana, before he landed the biggest fight of his career against former world champion Erik Morales. Morales was looking to take a tune-up prior to facing Manny Pacquiao in a high profile rematch. Raheem, not a big puncher, and moving up two weight classes to Lightweight, was given little chance of winning. But Raheem surprised many, as he outboxed and troubled Morales with his movement, on the way to a comfortable decision victory. The upset would later be named "Upset of the Year" by The Ring Magazine .
The loss however did not cost Morales his opportunity with Pacquiao, who subsequently stopped him in January 2006. Raheem would subsequently face Acelino Freitas on April 29, 2006, for the vacant WBO Lightweight Title. Freitas won a 12-round split decision, handing Raheem his second career loss.
Final Record: 101-3
Won the Bantamweight Olympic Trials in 1996, by defeating the following boxers:
- Rosendo Sanchez (points)
- Teaunce Shepherd (points)
- Steve Carter (points)
- Steve Carter (points), this bout was at the Olympic Box-Offs in Augusta, GA
At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Raheem lost in the second round. His results were: