If Vitali Klitschko Beats Samuel Peter, Will "Dr. Iron Fist" Hang Around To Defend His WBC Crown?

by James Slater, photo by Klitschko Management Group - Not long now until we find out if the Klitschko brothers' attempt to make boxing history will be a successful attempt or a failed one. Should the elder man of the two siblings, Vitali, beat current WBC belt holder Samuel Peter on October 11th, the two giants will have become the very first boxing brothers to have held a version of the world heavyweight title at the same time..

tarver vs dawsonHowever, another question to go along with the one that asks whether or not the two Ukraine big men will achieve their dream is the one that asks whether or not Vitali, should he win on Saturday, will decide he has capped off a fine career and retire, or choose to hang around and defend his title. Having made history, the two men may well want to keep their titles for as long as they can as they co-reign. But after all the time it took, and after all the injury-related postponements he has had to endure before finally getting himself ready to fight again, it may be asking too much for the 37-year-old Klitschko to go through a further training camp so as to face a challenger.

Personally, I think Saturday's fight will be a one-bout deal for Vitali, win or lose. He will hold the title for a while and he and his brother will rightfully revel in the glory their history making will bring them, but I don't see "Dr. Iron Fist" pushing his massive body through the intense training needed to successfully defend his crown. Sure, some will no doubt say Vitali could make one or two "gimme" defences, against soft touches that somehow wind up being ranked in the WBC top-ten; but would Klitschko want to take the risk, any risk, of losing his title in the ring?

Surely it would be far better for Vitali to retire as champion and with an unblemished reputation, while leaving the fighting to his younger brother. Vitali could ride off into the sunset secure in the knowledge that he will forever have a unique place in sport's history. Besides, if he were to continue, what would provide the incentive apart from money? There would be no obvious mega fight out there for Vitali - unless Lennox Lewis was somehow inclined to come back and face the man he stopped on cuts a few years back (fat chance) - and there would be no opportunity to achieve more glory by unifying the heavyweight titles; unless Vitali challenged his IBF and WBO champion brother (even fatter chance).

So why on earth would the 37-year-old, who has somehow managed to get himself through one last training camp, want to fight again after October 11th?

I do not believe we will see Vitali Klitschko in a ring again after this coming Saturday evening - whether he beats Sam Peter or not.

Article posted on 08.10.2008

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