Ukranian Ducks: Wlad and Vitali both avoided by the best

08.03.05 - By Brad D. - As we are on the verge of several fights that could have changed the heavyweight division, I am left in awe, as in the last few days we have heard announcements from several camps that certain proposed fights are now history. We stand at a crossroads where Rahman/V. Klitschko, W. Klitschko/Byrd, Toney/Ruiz, and Golota/Brewster could change the heavyweight landscape. Ah but wait, send in the clowns!

The first fight that has been tossed aside according to Don King, is Haseem Rahman/Vitali Klitschko. Now, here is something amazing. Rahman, who had called Vitali out on television a number of times, called him a Frankenstein, robot,..etc, and now he suddenly wants more money to fight Vitali. Don King says Rahman turned down 1.5 Million Dollars to fight Vitali Klitschko. What could possibly be going through Rahman's head at this point? Is it fear, or greed?

At this point in his career, Rahman has lost or drawn in his last 5 or 6 fights, and even had issues with the journeyman, Al Ice Cole. If Rahman wanted to resurrect his career, he would have taken this fight. Instead, he is banking on being the mandatory for Chris Byrd. Is Byrd the easier fight? I think Rahman has weighed his chances of winning both fights and has chosen to take the easy way out. Will a fight with Byrd get him 1.5 Million Dollars and a chance at greatness? Not a chance. Byrd will ultimately decision Rahman and keep his belt yet again in another borefest. Beating the IBF champion does not make you "The" champion. This leaves Vitali Klitschko to fight Monte Barrett, who in all fairness, has already been beaten harshly by Wladimir on July 15, 2000, eating canvas some 5 times on his way to being TKO'd. We all know how the Barrett/V. Klitschko fight ends. Rahman only had a punchers chance against Vitali, but that's one chance he should have taken. Bye bye 1.5 Million dollars!

Rahman, with your choices of last 5 padded opponents, and your previous 3 losses and a draw before that, this is an opportunity that will not come again. You've had 2 WBC Championship fights before. That was it.

Let's move on to that other boxer, Chris Byrd, the IBF "Champion" of the world. Here we have a gentleman that has claimed foul play at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko in their first one-sided battle on October 14, 2000, where Wladimir decisioned Byrd over 12 rounds. Byrd has claimed everything from being sick, to being posioned in their first meeting, to which he took a beating at the hands of Wladimir. Now, as I sit here and think about this, the perfect opponent for Byrd is Wladimir Klitschko. Wlad has lost every bit of the confidence he once had, and now fights tentatively, and without that aura of invincibility he once carried. Can Chris Byrd knock out Wladimir? Chances and history have proven not a chance, but he might be able to fight back more convincingly this time and try to avenge his loss.

Chris Byrd, in his last 3 fights, has really had things handed to him on a silver platter. One certain gift decision against Fres Oquendo, one really bad looking fight against Andrew Golota, which I thought Andrew did plenty enough to win, and one fight against Jameel McCline, who has proven over and over he's going nowhere in the heavyweight division, in which Byrd looked slower than ever, and was knocked down in the process.

Shelly Finkel is now quoted on another site as saying that Byrd won't even fight Wladimir for 2.5 Million in the U.S. now.

If this is true, Rahman and Byrd, I know a duck when I see one.

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with Wladimir's choices in the past either, such as not avenging his own losses, but then again, Wlad wasn't the one beaten by Byrd. It was the other way around. Wlad should have also taken on Purrity, Sanders, and Brewster, but that's for another article my friends.

The bottom line is, for Byrd, who complains constantly about no one wanting to fight him, and complains constantly that he never gets paid enough money, this whole deal looks bad for his legacy. Byrd lately has instead of taking the big fights, almost begged for the easy mandatory challengers.

Byrd needs to try to get a fight with Vitali or avenge his loss to Wladimir, end of story. Only then can he be the true champion that he claims he is, and prove to the whole world he isn't just lucky in his last few fights.

Yeah, Chris, you and I were both surprised at the end of the Oquendo and Golota fights.

Article posted on 07.03.2005

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