IBF Heavyweight Tournament Turning Into A Shambles, Now Dimitrenko Walks; Mormeck May Join Him

By James Slater: The heavyweight elimination tournament the IBF is to hold, with the eventual winner to be looked at as a threat to world ruler Wladimir Klitschko, sounded like a good idea when first announced. Unbeaten Denis Boytsov would participate, along with “Fast” Eddie Chambers, Alexander Dimitrenko and Johanthon Banks. But then, Boytsov withdrew on medical grounds (his doctor advised him not to sign on for a possible 12-round fight so soon after hand surgery), to be replaced by Jean Marc Mormeck.

Today, however, on Fightnews, it has been reported that Mormeck too, may leave the tournament. And it has been revealed that Dimitrenko has definitely pulled out. The plan now may be for Derric Rossy, the next available IBF-ranked big man, to come in and replace Dimitrenko. While if Mormeck walks also (rumours suggest he may face Hasim Rahman on December 2nd, in what would be a big fight for France) he will possibly be replaced by the recently-returned Maurice Harris. No disrespect to Rossy and Harris, both good fighters, but you can see the quality of the IBF’s tourney is slipping by the day.

Chambers was to have faced Mormeck in his first fight of the tourney, but the Philly boxer may now have to get ready in the gym for a fight with Rossy, a man he has already beaten! And Banks, who was set to face the huge Dimitrenko, may now have to work out a strategy for overcoming the smaller, perhaps trickier Harris. No dates have yet been announced for when these fights will or will not take place, but it’s possible fans will have lost a great deal of interest due to the ever-changing line-up.

To my way of thinking, as the tournament stands now, Chambers must be looked at as the favourite to win. He’s already handily beaten Rossy (stopping him inside seven-rounds back in 2007), and I feel “Fast” Eddie would have too much skill and polish for whoever wins out of Banks and the 24-14-2(22) Harris. But how would the promoters sell the public on the idea of a Wladimir Klitschko-Eddie Chambers II?

As we know, Wladimir won every round of his defence against Chambers back in March, before scoring that brutal 12th-round KO. Would the fans wish to see a second fight? Chambers, a good fighter, says he would love another go at “Dr. Steel Hammer,” but even he admits Klitschko would look at a rematch as a pretty much pointless fight.

There’s no official word yet on why Dimitrenko has pulled out of the tournament. However, if Mormeck has withdrawn, it is almost certainly because he is chasing a rematch with WBA heavyweight champ David Haye. Mormeck sees that as a winnable fight, whereas he has already out-priced himself in a recent offer to face Wladimir Klitschko.

Article posted on 22.10.2010

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