It Is Time For A Big Heavyweight Elimination Tournament

Paul McCreath: The heavyweight division has been in the doldrums for some time now and one of the biggest problems has been the lack of really big mega title bouts. Outside of the Klitschko brothers there is no truly oustanding contender to challenge any of the champions and of course we will not see any real unification as long as we have 4 major sanctioning bodies. The best of the challengers David Haye appears likely to fight Vitali Klitschko next year and while that will be a good fight it hardly reaches mega proportions. David while obviously a very good fighter is still pretty much unproven at heavyweight..

I looked at the Ring Magazine ratings this morning and a quick scan told me that of the top 10 listed only 2 have not either held a title before or at least challenged for one title or another. Some have had several chances so how do we come up with an outstanding challenger to get people excited about heavyweight title bouts again? The alphabet boys will likely all hold eliminators again soon. You know how it will go.#7 will fight #14, #5 will meet #11 and so on and we will wind up with a bunch of mandatories like Ray Austin or Hasim Rahman like they have stuck us with in the past. This is just not going to give the fans what they want.

What we need now is for one of the big promoters to step up to the plate and organize a big tournament to identify a top challenger. There would have to be at least 8 fighters involved and we cannot just recycle the old guys again. We need new faces but there would be a value in having some more established names involved in order to create TV interest. I would invite some rated guys still in their prime like Alex Povetkin, Juan Carlos Gomez, Eddie Chambers, Sam Peter, Sultan Ibragimov and Tony Thompson but only take at most 4 of these names. Povetkin would likely pass anyway since he is already the mandatory for Wlad Klitschko and Gomez might do the same. We would also need the best new faces available, men like David Haye, Chris Arreola, Alex Dimitrenko, Kevin Johnson and Odlanier Solis. Again Haye might pass but just get the best 4 or 5 new faces you can get. The way things are now very few of the new faces are getting the chance to meet the established veterans. We not only don't get to eliminate the old horses, we don't see the torch passed to the young guns either. This tournament would force these things to happen.

It would take about a year to organize and complete this tournament but by the time a winner had emerged a lot of other things will have been cleared up. Wlad Klitschko will have met Povetkin by then and Ruslan Chagaev and Nicolay Valuev will have sorted out their alphabet belt. The David Haye vs Vitali Klitschko fight will be over and Vitali will either have eliminated Haye or lost to him and retired. There should by then be at least one outstanding belt holder ready and waiting for a big match with the tournament winner.It won't give us an undisputed champ, nothing will but it would provide us with a mega fight at heavyweight that the whole world can get excited about again. Outside of Santa bringing us an end to this multi sanctioning body nonsense I guess that is the best we can expect.

What do you think?

Article posted on 17.12.2008

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