New IBF Heavyweight Tournament In Works - Winner Gets Shot At Wladimir Klitschko

By James Slater: Reports suggest the IBF are to put on another heavyweight elimination series, with the idea being the winner of the four-fight tourney goes on to face Ring magazine, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko some time next year (assuming Wlad hasn’t lost in the meantime; fat chance of that!).

According to RTE Sport, the four fighters who the IBF have approached about entering the tournament are Jean Marc Mormeck, Johnathon Banks, Alexander Dimitrenko and Denis Boystov.

As fight fans know, the IBF held a similar tournament a couple of years ago, when Alexander Povetkin, Eddie Chambers, Calvin Brock and Chris Byrd fought it out to see who got a shot at Klitschko. Povetkin finally emerged as the winner, having earned victories over Byrd and “Fast” Eddie. However, the unbeaten 31-year-old, having earned his shot at “Dr. Steel Hammer,” felt he needed further seasoning and has yet to take his chance. Hopefully, if the new IBF tourney goes ahead, the eventual winner will actually go through with the title shot!

All four guys are decent enough fighters, with Mormeck a former world champion (down at 200-pounds), Banks a former cruiserweight title challenger, and Dimitrenko and Boystov proven at European level. Boytsov, the only unbeaten fighter of the four, is also the youngest at age 24, and most experts would probably look at him as the favourite to win the would-be elimination series. The once-beaten Dimitrenko is the biggest guy of the four, and at 6’7” and approx 260-pounds he would have considerable height and weight advantages over his three rivals.

Banks and Mormeck, both largely unproven up at heavyweight, would no doubt look to use advantages in speed when going up against the other two contenders.

In truth, Boytsov aside, this is no stellar bunch, and it’s highly unlikely Klitschko will have anything to worry about when it comes to facing the eventual winner. For my money, if the tourney goes ahead, the 27-0(22) Russian has to be the pick of the four. Hopefully, if Boytsov does win, he will not go the way of his countryman Povetkin!

Boytsov has not fought since January of this year (his quick, 2nd-round KO of Kevin Montiy), but he is reportedly free from injury now and ready to get back into action. Maybe his next fight back will be against either Mormeck, Banks or Dimitrenko. Would you pick either guy over the German-based hope?

Article posted on 12.10.2010

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