Fair Plan To Initiate Heavyweight Unification

09.01.07 - By Scoop Malinowski: There is nothing more important to the sport of boxing right now than instituting a recognized Heavyweight champion of the world. In other words, Unification must be initiated NOW.

We need finality, closure - just one single world heavyweight champion. Then, the sport will prosper like it should, as the most exciting, fascinating athletic competition there is on earth..

The WBC must permit it's champion Oleg Maskaev to begin unification with IBF champ Wladimir Klitschko.

To appease the ambitions of WBC mandatory Samuel Peter and the IBF mandatory Ray Austin, here is a fair solution. Austin and Peter can fight each other (on the Klitschko-Maskaev undercard perhaps), and the winner's of both contests will meet later in 2007. (Klitschko-Maskaev winner must uphold promise or pay large fines to Peter-Austin winner.)

If Peter and Austin have the confidence in themselves to wait and prevail in one last extra fight, the winner would then be in the even more lucrative position to become a unified champ. That means more money and more prestige.

Yes, Don King promotes Austin and Peter but this is not about Don King losing one of his pawns. The overall sport needs a unified heavyweight champion desperately, with the surging success of MMA siphoning away major PPV dollars, not to mention buzz and hype.

Boxing needs to determine it's flagship Heavyweight champion NOW, no more lousy fights like Ruiz-Oquendo, Rahman-Ruiz and Byrd-Williamson can be tolerated.

"Fights" like those drive viewers away. And they besmirch our great sports credibility.

The fights the fans want to see must be made - Klitschko vs. Valuev, Maskaev, Peter. Margarito vs. Mayweather. Taylor vs. Miranda. Hatton vs. Mayweather. Cotto vs. Mayweather. Calzaghe vs. Kessler. Pacquiao vs. Valero, Marquez or Barrera.

If the powers-that-be of boxing continue to ignore the urgent necessity to start heavyweight unification now, the long-term consequences for the sport are potentially devastating. Imagine the damage to tennis if there were five years of no Grand Slam finals or year-end number one rated players? Imagine the negative PR to college hoops if they stopped the NCAA tournament after the Sweet Sixteen for five years? You catch my drift.

Team Klitschko and Team Maskaev absolutely want to make this fight RIGHT NOW.

Let's hope the IBF and WBC do the right thing for boxing - and not their own vested interests.

Article posted on 09.01.2007

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