Vitali Klitschko Needs to Step Down

07.11.05 - By Craig Parrish: I have been so looking forward to this weekend’s now defunct Heavyweight Title fight between Vitali Klitschko and Hasim Rahman. In my mind, this was the true title fight that would set the stage for whoever was going to be “the Man” in the Heavyweight Division for the next few years. While I am not a huge fan of either of these fighters, I believe that Vitali Klitschko has the most legitimate claim to the top spot, although his best and most memorable fight was the loss to Lennox Lewis.. Rahman, although no great fighter, is the epitome of “puncher’s chance” and can never be dismissed in any fight. The fight had been postponed three times already due to injury to the Champion and now, incredibly, has been postponed again, due to yet another injury.

There has been a lot of speculation as to whether these injuries were real or not. Obviously, the only people who can answer that would be the Klitschko camp and their physicians.

Regardless of whether they are real or not, the time has come for Klitschko to step down as Heavyweight Champ.

He has been incapable of defending the title for many months now, and it is simply not fair to other fighters that are seeking the belt. Boxers have a limited window of time in life when they can fight. These years that fighters are in their “peak” are precious and simply cannot be held up by one individual. While my personal feeling is that the injuries are real, Vitali needs to understand that the Division needs to move along. If he can recuperate, he should be able to reclaim the title. Klitschko seems to be a very intelligent and responsible person. He should do the right thing and step down, in order to avoid being stripped of the title.

It is a real shame that this fight has been postponed yet again. In today’s world, it is rare that Heavyweight fans get to see a legitimate fight with some firepower. Most of this year’s Heavyweight offerings on PPV have been dreadful, and with Samuel Peter’s loss to Wladimir Klitschko, there is apparently no “Savior” out there who is going to come in and clean up the Division as Mike Tyson did back in the ‘80’s. There is no end in sight for the train wreck that has become the Heavyweight Division, and the postponement of this fight has just added more fuel to the fire. While I believe that the Klitschko Brother’s dream of being Heavyweight Champions at the same time is inspiring, there are many others out there who have dreams of a Heavyweight Belt as well. Those individuals need to be afforded the same opportunities the Klitshckos have had, and the only way for that to happen is for Vitali to clear the way.

Article posted on 07.11.2005

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