Heavyweight Farce: Does Wlad Klitschko Deserve A Title Shot?

02.03.05 - By Umar ben-Ivan Lee: There has been a lot of talk lately about why Chris Byrd seemingly does not want to fight Wladimir Klitschko for his IBF title and lost in this conversation has been some key facts.

In his last four fights W. Klitschko has been knocked out twice, knocked out a journeyman, and struggled mightily with a suspect DaVarryl Williamson. How this justifies a title-shot is beyond any kind of logical reasoning. Some people, however, are claming that not only does he deserve a title-shot but that he has some kind of leveraging power over Byrd which is clearly absurd..

There is money in the Klitschko name, especially in Europe, and Don King and others wish to exploit this for financial reasons and force the fight in Germany. People are claiming that Byrd doesn't want to go to Germany for all kinds of underhanded reasons but all one has to do is look at the mistreatment foreign fighters have faced in Germany over the last decade and easily see why Byrd does not want to go. The first fight with W. Klitschko was one were Byrd felt ill and
was not able to perform to his top level; however this cannot be an excuse because without solid proof of any wrong-doing W. Klitschko deserves full credit for that victory.

The real question remains; why is W. Klitschko even fighting for a title? Surely Jameel McCline is
deserving of a rematch or even Fres Oquendo after their close contests with Byrd. Even the Wlad conquerors Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster are much more deserving. On merit there is no basis to W. Klitschko getting a title-shot. Let us look at people who are more deserving;

Monte Barrett- In a supposed eliminator he disposed of Owen Beck, previously defeated hot-prospect Dominick Guinn and tested Joe Mesi.

Nicolay Valuev- After his destruction of Attila Levin and Gerald Nobles he has to be considered the hotter former Soviet prospect.

Michael Moorer- Sure he got knocked-out by David Tua but that was only one knockout and he did win an impressive victory over Vasilly Jirov in his alt bout.

Luan Krasinqi- He hasn't been knocked out, has won, and has to be considered the better stock at this point than W. Klitschko.

None of these things will happen however because of the business of boxing. As writer Mike Katz has stated it seems that King, the man who tried to sneak boxing into apartheid-era South Africa, is determined to have four white champions and not because of their skin color but because of the color green.

For those who will say that I am anti-Klitschko; I will respond that I have met him and spent time with him and that he is one of the nicest guys in all of boxing but that doesn't qualify him for a title shot.

Umar ben-Ivan Lee may be contacted at

Article posted on 02.03.2005

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