DKP: Klitschko-Chronology Of Events

08.11.05 - DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla.—To make an informed conclusion on whether Vitali Klitschko should be stripped of the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship for failing, on four separate occasions this year, to face his mandatory challenger Hasim “The Rock” Rahman, the following chronology of events should be considered:

- Vitali Klitschko has never made a mandatory defense of a world title (WBC or WBO).

- Vitali Klitschko defeats Corrie Sanders by technical knockout in round eight on April 24, 2004, at Staples Center in Los Angeles to win the vacant WBC heavyweight title (vacated by Lennox Lewis).

- Pursuant to “WBC Rule 1.25 Vacant Title,” Klitschko was able to petition the WBC “to approve one voluntary defense, with the condition that the winner must meet his official challenger next.” The WBC granted the exception paving the way for Klitschko to meet Danny Williams on Dec. 11,

- Hasim Rahman defeats Kali “Checkmate” Meehan in New York in a WBC heavyweight championship elimination bout on Nov. 13, 2004, to become the WBC mandatory challenger.

- Vitali Klitschko makes an optional defense against Danny Williams in Las
Vegas on Dec. 11, 2004, winning by technical knockout in round eight.

- Tom Loeffler, Klitschko’s promoter at K2 Promotions, states on Dec. 24, 2004, that Vitali’s hands “were badly swollen but not broken” after his fight with Williams and that the timetable for future bouts “depends on Vitali’s hands.”

- Klitschko agrees in February 2005 to make a mandatory defense against Rahman on April 30, 2005, at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

- The April 30, 2005, meeting is rescheduled to June 18, 2005, after Vitali
suffers what is called a “thigh injury” while jogging.

- Klitschko re-schedules this mandatory defense to July 23, 2005, claiming his thigh did not respond to treatment.

- The July 23, 2005, re-scheduling is postponed yet again after Klitschko claims his thigh injury has spread to his back.

- Klitschko undergoes what his handlers refer to as “minor back surgery,” on April 19, 2005.

- “WBC Rule 1.27 Inactivity of a Champion” states: “When a world champion is:
a) inactive for more than six (6) months but less than one (1) year, for certified medical reasons, or
b) for whatever legal impediment or other reason beyond his control is unable to defend his championship within the time periods prescribed by the Rules and Regulations, the WBC may determine an interim champion pursuant to Rule 1.25 hereof.”

Don King Productions successfully petitions the WBC in May 2005 to sanction for its interim heavyweight championship on Aug. 13, 2005, the match between WBC No. 1-ranked mandatory challenger Hasim Rahman and WBC No. 2-ranked, and No. 2 mandatory challenger Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett pursuant to WBC Rule 1.27.

- Don King implores Klitschko to face Rahman on Aug. 13, avoiding the necessity of the interim championship bout. Klitschko claims he cannot be ready to fight by Aug. 13. After Rahman and Barrett sign to fight each other, it is leaked to the media that Klitschko suddenly recovers to the extent that he is fit to fight on HBO Sept. 24. Klitschko’s hand-picked opponent, Oleg Maskaev, is subsequently rejected by HBO as a suitable opponent according to media reports.

- Klitschko subsequently petitions the WBC to allow him a second voluntary defense against Calvin Brock on Sept. 24, 2005. The WBC rejects Klitschko’s bid on July 15, 2005, and orders Vitali to face the winner of Rahman vs. Barrett.

- The WBC announces on Aug. 17, 2005, that Klitschko will make his thrice-delayed mandatory defense against Rahman on Nov. 12, 2005, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

- Klitschko is reportedly “knocked down” and “banged up” by sparring partners during the first week in November to the extent he claims a knee injury. Two doctors fit Vitali with two different knee braces, but it was never reported that either physician determined that Klitschko’s apparent knee injury would prevent him from fighting on Nov. 12.

- Vitali Klitschko himself makes the decision to pull out of the Rahman fight on Nov. 5, 2005.

- WBC Rule 1.28 Penalty on Inactivity by Champion (or Interim Champion)” states: “A champion (or an interim champion) not defending his title within one (1) year will lose his title.” Therefore, if Klitschko is not able to face Rahman by Dec. 11, 2005, (one year since Klitschko last defended his title against Danny Williams), the WBC must, by its own Rules and Regulations strip him of his title. Furthermore:

- WBC Rule 1.29 Penalty on Refusal to Fight” states: “If any of both, the WBC Champion [Klitschko] and the interim champion [Rahman], is not willing to participate in a contest to have one sole undisputed champion in the division, he [Klitschko] will lose his portion of the title, with the willing champion [Rahman] becoming automatically, the undisputed WBC Champion of the division.” Therefore, the WBC must declare Rahman its heavyweight champion by Dec. 10, 2005, pursuant to rules 1.28 and 1.29, if it follows its own Rules and Regulations. Any deviation from the aforementioned Rules and Regulations would certainly leave the WBC open to needless and unnecessary lawsuits for obvious violations of its own Rules

- WBC Rule 1.21 Championship Defense Obligations” states: “b) Mandatory Defense Obligations. All WBC recognized champions are obligated to mak at least one yearly mandatory defense against the designated official challenger [Rahman].” It further states: “Mandatory Defenses. A WBC champion is obligated to make at least one yearly mandatory defense against the designated official challenger [Rahman].

Article posted on 08.11.2005

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