An Idea For Wladimir Klitschko's Next Defense

wladimir klitschko12.03.07 - By Paul McCreath: Last Saturday evening in Germany, Wladimir Klitschko (48-3, 43 KO's) fulfilled his obligations by defending his IBF heavyweight title in a mandatory bout against challenger Ray Austin, winning by a second round KO. This result left Wladimir in an enviable position. He now has about one year before he must make another mandatory defense and he may now for the next nine months or so make one or more voluntary defenses against almost anyone he wants within reason. What Klitschko does with this opportunity will determine to a great degree just how the public judges him as to his position in the heavyweight division.

Right now, most clear thinking people consider him to be the best heavyweight in the world, but not the undisputed champion. Wladimir would like to change that. He would like to be recognized as the true boxing champion and if possible unify the titles. We all know that is next to impossible so what he must do is gain public support for the idea that he is the real champion. This can only be done by defeating the most logical other contenders for that position.

Klitschko has to be careful how he proceeds. If he decides to meet fighter "A," then the supporters of fighter "B" will say it should have been "B" that got the fight. If he fights "B," then "C" complains. You get the idea. You can't please everyone, so it is a no win situation. There are at least four fighters who would get ample support for being "the man" that Wlad should fight. But Wladimir can avoid this problem by not actually choosing his next opponent. I would like to outline a plan that I think would work. The rest is up to Wladimir, since he is in the driver's seat.

Hear is the plan:

1. Klitschko should decide on the date that he wishes to make his next defense and announce it publicly. Let us say early June.

2. Wladimir and his brother Vitali should have their promotional company, K-2, make a fair and generous offer to all of the other nine fighters in Ring magazine's latest rankings to join the queue for a title shot on that date. Make these offers public so everyone will know what has been offered.I use the Ring ratings because they are better than those of the alphabet boys and probably as well known if not better than any other independent ratings. If not perfect, at least they are fairly well respected.

3. Give these nine fighters two weeks to accept the potential fight in writing and then release the results of the responses or lack thereof to the public. This would prevent the usual BS about "he said, she said," etc. Some fighters of course would decline the offer, perhaps for valid reasons. That is fine. They all got a chance to say no.

4. The highest rated fighter from those who accept is awarded the fight and given two weeks to finalize and sign the contract for the fight. If this does not happen, then number two gets the fight and so on.

5. Hold the fight and if successful repeat the whole process for another defense in say September. Any fighters legitimately unable to fight in June should be available then.

If the IBF or other organizations refuse to sanction these fights, carry on without them. Bill the bouts as for the TRUE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP of the WORLD. The public would support this idea and would laugh the alphabet boys out of existence if they don't go along with it. Meanwhile, none of the current paper champs would have any believable claim on the world title if they turned down the chance to settle it in the ring with Wladimir Klitschko. There would be no excuses. After these two fights, Klitschko could defend his IBF title when the mandatory is due, if he values that belt or just continue on as the TRUE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP and follow the formula I outlined to retain public support as champion.

Well, Wladimir, there is no reason why you can't do this. The rest is up to you.

Article posted on 13.03.2007

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