Sulaiman: I'm Waiting For Follow Up Phone Call From Vitali Klitschko!

24.01.07 - By Michael Marley, Don Jose Sulaiman thinks all the involved and concerned parties need to take a chill pill. He said they need to take deep breaths, take a yoga class or meditate. Okay, okay, the WBC President never used those words but he did tell me tonight that the question of whether former heavyweight champ Vital Klitschko will return to the ring and get an immediate crack at titleholder Oleg Maskaev is undetermined..

"I am waiting to hear something back from Vitali," Sulaiman said from Mexico City. "Vitali contacts me directly from the Ukraine or wherever he is. He called me a week ago speaking about this comeback. It's very clear that an immediate title shot is what Vitali wants. I took notice of that just as I have taken notice of (complaints from) Dino Duva, Don King and Iyavailo Gotzev made on behalf of top contender Samuel Peter."

Sulaiman expects final word from Vitali "in a matter of days or weeks" and that, if the Peter push comes to shove, the matter will go before the 34-member Board Of Governors who represent 151 member WBC nations. They decide matters by majority vote and Sulaiman only votes to break a tie.

Sulaiman indicated no personal preference on the multimillion dollar matter but remarked upon "the strong opposition" by Peter's team. He also noted that "Samuel Peter has made $2.7 million (in the ring) over the past four months and he was not in the original heavyweight tournament. He got into it by beating James Toney."

Beat Toney Sam Peter did, twice. That is why his people are screaming so loudly. Sulaiman said Vitali was promised a chance for an immediate title try when he abandoned the title due to medical issues. The retirement came in November, 2005, after a knee injury forced Vitali to postpone a fight with Hasim Rahman four times and finally cancel it, having knee surgery instead.

This is what Vitali told ESPN then: "Lately, I have been spending more time with my injuries than with my opponents inside the ring. The decision to retire from professional sports was a very difficult one, one of the hardest I have ever had to make. I love boxing and am proud to be the WBC and Ring [magazine] heavyweight champion. But I would like to end my career at its peak so I am retiring now as the champion to clear the way for my successors."

Ring a ding ding, Vitali, call Seņor Sulaiman and let's move this issue along.

Article posted on 24.01.2007

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