29.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: A heavyweight title unification match up between IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko, 49-3 with 44 KOs and World Boxing Organization champion Sultan Ibragimov, 22-0 with 17 KOs is close to finalization. According to Boxrec.com the bout is scheduled for February 23rd at Madison Square Garden and will be broadcast by HBO. The camps of both fighters have been in negotiations for the past few weeks and the contract is close to being signed. Neither fighter has a mandatory defense scheduled by their respective sanctioning bodies and both fighters have expressed the desire to unify all the heavyweight title belts.
The last undisputed heavyweight champion was Lennox Lewis who gained universal recognition after winning a unanimous decision over Evander Holyfield on November 13th, 1999. Lewis retired after defeating Vitali Klitschko by a 6th round TKO in June of 2003 and the division has remained fragmented and disappointing ever since.
Wladimir Klitschko is coming off a victory over Lamon Brewster. Brewster had knocked out Klitschko in their first meeting but retired after six one-sided rounds in the rematch.
Sultan Ibragimov is coming of a decision victory over Evander Holyfield.