Boxing

Hiker's Heavyweight Boxing News And Views

09.054.08 - By Paul McCreath (Hiker) The title situation in the heavyweight division is in its usual foggy state these days. Who knows what will happen! Dual belt holder Wlad Klitschko has been in a bit of a quandary. He holds both the IBF and WBO championships and both mandatories are due. The WBO wants him to fight Tony Thompson and the IBF are pushing Alex Povetkin. Wlad would prefer to meet Thompson first then Povetkin in the fall since Tony has been waiting longer but Povetkin's camp are not happy with that idea.. They petitioned the IBF demanding first crack at Wlad while he requested an extension so he can fight Thompson. One has to wonder if the real motive of the Povetkin people was to have Wlad stripped of his belt so that Alex can fight an easier opponent for the vacant belt. Let's face it, why would a fighter with only 15 pro fights want to meet Wlad now? The IBF are not noted for logical decisions but as I expected they apparently got it right this time although probably for the wrong reasons. They know that they will get bigger gates and thus larger sanctioning fees with Wlad as their champ so reports say they ruled in Wlad's favor. At any rate I think that Povetkin might be better off chasing one of the other belts at a later date.

New WBC champ Sam Peter is currently in talks with Wlad's brother Vitali to get his mandatory out of the way. Vitali qualifies under the idiotic rule that proclaims him the champion emeritus. Don't get me started on that one!Rumors are circulating that Vitali may pass up this fight to again enter politics. I expect that the part about entering politics is accurate but that he will still fight if physically able. I don't think Peter and Vitali will reach an agreement because the Klitschkos have never liked dealing with Don King. The bout will go to purse offers and K-2 Promotions have an excellent chance of winning. Think about it. Vitali as promoter and fighter can offer a higher bid than King since a good part of the purse will go back into his own pocket anyway. The winner of this bout will meet the winner of the eliminator between Vlad Virchis and Juan Carlos Gomez who will meet in the fall. Should Vitali not be able to go through with his bout against Sam Peter don't be surprised if John Ruiz, another Don King fighter, takes his place.

WBA champ Ruslan Chagaev has his mandatory scheduled against former champ Nicolay Valuev for May 31 in Germany. Valuev has fought his way back into contention with 12 round wins over undefeated Canadian Jean-Francois Bergeron and former belt holder Sergei Liakhovich in an eliminator in February. Many feel Big Nic might just regain his title in this one.

Former belt holder Shannon Briggs is talking about fighting again. So far it is all talk as is usual with Shannon. The names mentioned as opponents are all Don King fighters, Carl Davis, Mike Mollo, and Andrew Golota. My guess is that if Shannon decides to fight at all he will pick what he thinks is the easiest of the 3, likely Davis. Word has it that Shannon is bigger than ever so don't hold your breath, at least until something is signed.

Hasim Rahman has turned down a chance to fight Tye Fields on the undercard of the HBO show featuring Manny Pacquiao and David Diaz. It apparently had nothing to do with money.Rahman was just not interested. He is still dreaming of a title shot no doubt.Nothing is signed yet but it appears Fields will now meet Monte Barrett on the same show on June 28th.

Calvin Brock is now reported to be blind in his right eye after surgery to repair a detached retina following his bout with Eddie Chambers. His career is now on hold while he is hoping his sight may return later. Eddie meanwhile has been ordered to defend his USBA regional title against Kevin Johnson, an undefeated prospect but Johnson has turned the fight down and will now meet Terry Smith on April 18 in Oklahoma. Johnson's jab should be enough to win this one. There is no word yet on who will be Chamber's new challenger.

In Europe recent challenger to Ruslan Chagaev's belt, Matt Skelton will attempt to win the vacant European title in a bout with Sinan Samil Sam in Turkey on May 30th. Matt has a pretty good chance in this one but neither one really figures in the world scene any longer.

Another prospect, Ukrainian Alex Dimitrenko will be back in action against American Derric Rossy on May 3 in Germany. Rossy will be remembered for the beating he took from Chambers in early 2007. Last time out he defeated ancient Ray Mercer in China but was dropped in the last round Since Alex is well protected I doubt he would have taken this bout unless he was pretty sure of winning. He should have few problems. There have also been reports that David Tua will resurface in Europe soon against an unnamed opponent. Don't expect anything too earth shaking here.

Finally in the UK promoter Barry Hearn has an interesting heavyweight tournament on tap for April 11.This Prizefighter Tournament as it is called features 8 fighters, some unbeaten but all unknown outside of Britain in 3 round bouts leading to a 25000 pound prize for the winner. It won't lead us to the next challenger for the British title but it may give us a hint of things to come in a couple of years. It is an interesting concept that may have an appeal at a higher level elsewhere. Perhaps a more structured schedule is the way we should go to increase interest in our sport.

That's all for now. Until next time, keep punching!

Article posted on 10.04.2008



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