Ibragimov’s manager Boris Grinberg: “I want to send Jim Lampley a message entitled, “Sultan, Sultan, Sultan. Only Bernard Hopkins can help promote heavyweight unification on HBO!”

sultan ibragimov08.07.07 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: There are many fans who call me on my bias for certain fighters, one of whom is current WBO heavyweight boxing champion S-U-L-T-A-N, I-B-R-A-G-I-M-O-V (that one is for you Jim Lampley). While those of you who read my work consistently know that does not interfere with me being objective regarding even those guys I like, I cannot be as kind to boxing TV giant HBO. Their disinterest regarding doing something that even their favorite Wlad was not able to do, in unifying the titles, completely falls by the wayside.

All we heard was the same generic questions asked Wlad after the bout in, “do you want unification?” and “do you consider yourself the champ?” Rather than:

1. Do you want the winner of Chagaev Ibragimov?
2. Have you started negotiating with them regarding that bout?

When Ibragimov was slated to defend against Holyfield the general reaction was, “Sultan is taking the easy way out,” while when the unification bout was made that has changed to a rich man’s version of, “Great, who gives a %$#?” Where is the love for the two guys who aren’t just talking about wanting the champs but actually taking a step to doing it? As always, I felt it necessary to hear Boris’s thoughts on the matter:

Boris Grinberg: “It was disappointing to me. Once again another opponent of Klitschko came in looking to find a comfortable spot on the mat rather than trying to win. Lamon is a nice guy and all, but I was embarrassed for him when he started talking about his family and children, when before the fight he was claiming he needed to be killed in order to lose.

As far as Lampley goes, all I want is to find out is his email or contact info and send him a message entitled, “Sultan, Sultan, Sultan.” How can he call himself a journalist and not know the names of the people he is paid to talk about?” As for Larry, I like how he put Lamon on the spot regarding his comments before the bout, and let Klitschko slide when Wladimir asked him who he wanted Klitschko to fight.

For the first time in eight years we put together a unification fight and it looks like nobody in the press even gives a $%@&. It is almost as if the opinion of the public has not changed at all when we went from fighting Evander Holyfield to fighting Chagaev. Yea, people said, “great,” but are still claiming Klitschko’s belt is somehow worth more then anybody else’s. Good luck with unification if you think so. It hurts me to see how much boxing suffers. Klitschko beats another guy who walked in to lay down, and instead of asking and pushing him to find a challenge, they ignore the world around them. They are pretty much stuck in a time tunnel where Klitschko is the only name they know.

Let them force Klitschko to call out Ruslan or Sultan. I am not saying he doesn’t deserve to be ranked the #1 heavy, but that is not enough reason to call him champion. I won’t say to you that Klitschko will be KO’ed if he fights them, because we know he is a great fighter who has many advantages, but neither Ruslan or Sultan will lay down for him if they fight. If he truly is the best as HBO would have you believe he will find a true test in either of those two guys.

I can only hope that our co-promoter Bernard tries to promote the Ibragimov vs. Chagaev bout when he fights on their channel. He is a great guy who would actually do that. I think that is the only way anybody at HBO will be forced to give credit to the October 13 bout, and help promote the bouts that will benefit the sport.

Klitschko himself is comfortable where he is, getting 20 thousand plus fans in Germany to come out to see those showcases. He says he wants to unify but all we hear is he has a problem with Kohl, and then a problem with King. If he has problems with all these promoters then how does he expect to unify the belts? I don’t believe he wants to because if he is making his money, and getting his fans to come, and already claim he is #1, what is the reasoning for clamoring for unification?” (end quote)

I also feel it necessary to mention that this is precisely what I was afraid of when I heard that Sultan and Ruslan will be fighting. If nobody cares and people claim Wladimir is still the best anyway, what is the point of any of the champs doing anything worthwhile in boxing if nobody recognizes it? It should be a point most boxing fans consider if this fight is not given its due respect and next time out you see the winner of the bout fighting the likes of Peter Okhello, or some other poor man’s version of Lamon Brewster, who I have always personally considered overrated (and partly why I picked Lyakhovich to beat him for the WBO title.), and the succession’s of who’s belt as I said has gone down the line to the WBO beltholder and subsequently the winner on October 13th.

Article posted on 09.07.2007

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