Who's left for the Klitschkos?

By Chris Strait: This really has been a stalling year in boxing, from super Six injuries and controversies holding off great fights to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao failing to connect yet again. It has, however, never been worse than it is in the heavyweight division. With Tomasz Adamek, David Haye, Nicolai Valuev, and Alexander Povetkin stalling in attempt to avoid the eventual beating from either Klitschko brother, Vitali and Wladimir are left in a bit of a quandary. They wish to remain active, but are actually having to search for challengers.

As trainer Emmanuel Steward said, this is the first time the heavyweight champ(s) have had to seek out opponents. No one seems to really be lining up to try to win the title. This means we have been forced to watch a shot Sam Peter and an inept Albert Sosnowski receive the most recent opportunities. It is about to get worse. Shannon Briggs will get a shot next month against Vitali, while the 'names' being tossed around for Wladimir in December are such world beaters as Odlanier Solis and Alexander Dimitrenko. I know even the great Joe Louis was allowed a bum-of-the-month club, but this was acceptable when champs fought that often. Let's take a look at how these, and a couple others will match up, should they get the opportunity.

Alexander Dimitrenko - Sure, Eddie Chambers came off a loss in an eliminator, to win one back against this very man, but I don't see the same luck for Dimitrenko. He showed talent deficiencies, and there is really no overcoming that, unless one has extraordinary heart or power. Dimitrenko has shown neither. I say he gets the shot eventually, probably against Vitali... but loses the way everyone else does. V. Klitschko wins in a middle to late round TKO, having not lost a single minute of a single round.

Odlanier Solis - His German zip code, like that of Dimitrenko, make this shot a possibility, yet he has done nothing to earn one. He reminds me more of amateur stand-out turned fat disappointment Ramon Garbey than Juan Carlos Gomez when it comes to big men out of Cuba. I don't even think he will last the requisite 8 or 9 rounds most opponents have been going lately. Wladimir by 4 rd KO.

Denis Boytsov - He is playing the Alexander Povetkin waiting game before taking on anyone real, not just a Klitschko. Say what you want about the Americans. At least Arreola and Chambers fought real opposition to get there, and tried to win against the brothers (can't say that about Kevin Johnson, though). These two Russians are waiting so long, it makes us think they are trying to wait out the retirement of Vitali and Wladimir.

It may be a wise move, although an unbeaten record won't make them any less vulnerable to the braver fighters like Arreola and Adamek. Povetkin will likely make a move eventually, but Boytsov's will get a shot only if one of the first four names mentioned tries to stall yet again. And he may actually try, out of nothing but complete ignorance of adversity in the ring. But he will lose, probably in the middle rounds, no matter which brother fights him.

Regarding Adamek: Michael Grant and now Vinny Maddalone? Shame on Main Events for padding Adamek's record like this. They know he is cannon fodder for either Klitschko brother, and are milking the Polish crowds. At least try to make a fight with Haye, who he will likely beat. This backwards motion is insulting to those who have been calling him a real threat.

Article posted on 15.09.2010

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