What Is The WBC Thinking?

23.12.08 - By Paul McCreath: The World Boxing Council: The alphabet group that created such a mess a few months ago that they actually had three of their own world heavyweight champions all at the same time! It is a good thing there were no unification bouts with the belt holders of other organizations or we might have had four champs. As it is we had Oleg Maskaev as the regular belt holder after he took the title by KO from Hasim Rahman. They also had Vitali Klitschko as the champion emeritus (whatever that means) and later they added Sam Peter as their interim world champ. Sam of course had to win two eliminators over James Toney and then defeated Jameel McCline to become the interim belt holder. McCline had qualified for the title shot by losing in three rounds to Nicolay Valuev, the WBA champ. Does anyone see a lack of logic here?

At any rate after many months of changed decisions and threats of legal action the three titles were gradually whittled down to one when Peter stopped Maskaev for the regular title then in turn lost it to Vitali. Before all this came about all three fighters were held up from earning a living while the WBC diddled and dithered while trying to avoid court action and reach a decision about who would fight whom first.

Meanwhile the mandatory challengers were piling up. Juan Carlos Gomez defeated Oliver McCall to qualify for a title shot but the WBC made him fight still another eliminator this time against Vlad Virchis. He won again in September to become the mandatory. Not satisfied to have one mandatory the WBC then sanctioned another in November between Jameel McCline and Mike Mollo. McCline had qualified by losing an earlier eliminator in March to John Ruiz while Mollo got there by losing in 12 rounds to Andrew Golota. Are you still with me?

Are these guys nuts?

You might wonder what happened to John Ruiz while all this was going on. He skipped over to the WBA and lost a title bout to Valuev. After all, as the winner of a WBC eliminator he could hardly expect a title match with that organization since only the losers get that chance, right?

Would you not think that after all these foul-ups the WBC would have learned their lesson? This past week they were at it again... Jose Sulaiman the WBC president announced that Vitali Klitschko was obliged to defend his title not later than April 30 against Gomez, with of course the possibility of an extension as late as June 30. I have no problem with Gomez getting his chance. At least they got one thing right. Gomez has earned his shot twice, just like Sam Peter had to do earlier. But of course the alphabet boys never get anything entirely right do they?

In addition to that possible time extension from April 30 they also announced that Oleg Maskaev would get the next title shot within 120 days or maybe 180 days from the date of the Vitali vs Gomez fight. Maskaev qualified for this chance by getting KO'd by Sam Peter before he in turn got stopped by Vitali. That must make him the ideal opponent, but what happened to McCline who won his eliminator?

The real reason Maskaev will get this opportunity in my opinion is that he presently is suing the WBC over the way he was treated while he held their title. He was not allowed to fight a voluntary defense against Wlad Klitschko and there are also issues over the purse split in the bout with Sam Peter. It looks to me that the naming of Maskaev as a mandatory is just an attempt by the WBC to avoid going to court. Maskaev has won only one tune-up fight with Robert Hawkins since losing his title. It that is enough to warrant a title match then I guess we can expect the undefeated prospect Denis Boytsov to be named soon too. He also beat Hawkins this year.

The sad part about all this is that the fight that everyone would prefer to see will possibly be washed out by all these manoeuvres. That would be the already agreed to match between Vitali Klitschko and David Haye. They want to fight in June but it seems unlikely now. The WBC could have avoided all the trouble and controversy by simply ordering a final eliminator between Haye and Maskaev with the winner to meet the Vitali-Gomez winner but that would be much too logical for these guys.

The long and the short of it is that the WBC have messed up again and once more the sport of boxing and the fans are losers. How can we get rid of these clowns?

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Article posted on 24.12.2008

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