By James Slater: Yesterday, there was some concern over whether or not the Wladimir Klitschko-Mariusz Wach heavyweight title fight, reportedly set for Nov. 10th in Hamburg, Germany, would actually go ahead (see article below). Well, it has been confirmed today, by Fightnews.com and by Ringtv.com, that the Ring Magazine, WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO title clash will most certainly take place as planned.
by James Slater – The two reigning heavyweight kings the Klitschkos, Wladimir and Vitali, are so good and so all-conquering, it’s got to the point where both men are having to search incredibly hard for their next acceptable challenger.
In fact, if you ask some fans, some harsher critics, neither sibling has actually managed to find an acceptable challenger for his next outing. Wladimir, the Ring Magazine, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO ruler will face unbeaten but largely untested Pole Mariusz Wach, while WBC king Vitali will face the even less tested but also unbeaten Manuel Charr of Beirut.
Let’s take a look and decide which of the two massive outsiders has the best shot, the best prayer, the best hope of being blessed with a miracle in the coming months.
27-year-old Charr, 21-0(11) gets his chance first, on September 8th in Moscow. Smaller than Vitali, possessing only a fraction of “Dr. Iron Fist’s” punching power and experience, Charr, known as “Diamond Boy,” looks to have only one chance in my opinion: that Vitali, all 41-years of him, either suddenly grows old in the ring or suffers an injury (okay, that’s two chances Charr has!)
By Michael Collins: IBO/IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 51 KO’s) defends his titles on November 10th against the biggest opponent of his career in 6’7 1/2″ Mariusz Wach (27-0, 15 KO’s) of Poland at the O2 World Arena, Altona, Hamburg, Germany. Wladimir, 36, is simply running out of suitable heavyweights for him to fight, hence the choice of the unproven 32-year-old Wach for his next opponent instead of someone with at least a tiny bit of experience at the world level.
By Rob Smith: Evander Holyfield, 49, is hoping that one of the Klitschko brothers will give him a fight so that Holyfield can try and capture another heavyweight world title before he retires someday. Holyfield hasn’t been ranked in the top tier for quite some time in the heavyweight division so it’s going to be a tad difficult for him to get one of the Klitschkos to bite on his offer.
Holyfield said to Sky Sports News “They [Klitschkos] have got an opportunity to probably make the biggest payday of their lives fighting Evander Holyfield…With the Klitshkos, they aren’t choosing to fight me, I’ve said I’ll fight them. All they got to do is realize that both of us will make money, then we’ll see who the winner is.”
Ignoring the fact that this would be terrible mismatch and the Klitschko brothers would take heaps of criticism from boxing fans if they took this fight, A fight between one of the Klitschko brothers and 49-year-old Holyfield would still do really well in Germany where the Klitschkos fight. The Klitschkos could sell out one of their 50,000 seat football stadiums if they fought Holyfield.
by Geoffrey Ciani – The term Klitschko Dream typically refers to the goal of brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko to simultaneously hold all of the major world titles in heavyweight boxing. Mission accomplished! Wladimir now holds belts from three of the four main sanctioning bodies, while Vitali carries the fourth. This is an amazing feat. In fact, for the better part of the last eight years either one or both of the brothers has reigned supreme. Despite this impressive display of dominance, however, the Klitschko brothers remain largely unappreciated as heavyweight commodities, particularly in the US. Why is this?
Many observers viewed the Klitschko Dream as nothing more than a pipe dream back at the time when the two brothers both turned professional in November 1996. After all, the heavyweight landscape during this period had a great deal of depth and talent. Initially Wladimir was viewed as the more promising of the two brothers, largely because he captured the Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The overall early perception of the Klitschkos was a mixed bag. They were obviously big and strong, but often described as being robotic and uncoordinated. Plenty of question marks surrounded the two of them as they slowly worked their way up through the professional ranks.
Vitali would soon be seen as the better of the brothers following Wladimir’s shocking loss at the hands of Ross Purity in December 1998, which was just over two short years after the Klitschkos debuted. Wladimir’s loss to Purity had more to do with inexperience and poor pacing than anything else. Eager to put on an impressive performance while fighting for the first time in front of his hometown audience in Kiev, Wladimir simply punched himself out against a durable opponent, which allowed Purity to capitalize on Wlad’s physically and mentally exhausted state.
by Geoffrey Ciani – Over the course of a sixteen month period beginning in June 2009, I conducted a series of surveys that all began with a very simple question: Who are the ten best heavyweights of all time? While contemplating my own list of top heavyweight pugilists, I decided gathering the input of others might help display a more accurate portrayal of what a ‘true’ top 10 list should look like. Now of course this is not an exact science by any means. In fact, quite the opposite, it is an extremely subjective topic that is often skewed by personal bias, differences of opinion, individual tastes and preferences, and most importantly the absence of a universally agreed upon criteria with which to judge past fighters. Even with these inherent obstacles playing their natural role, however, we can still establish some degree of consensus.
The guidelines were simple. I had every person who voluntarily participated in each survey provide me with a chronological list of who they considered to be the ten best (heavyweights, middleweights, etc) in boxing history. Ties were not permitted, just a straight-forward list from one to ten. I then used a weighted-points system to assign values to fighters based on where they appeared on each individual’s list. First place votes received 25 points. Second place votes were worth 15 points, third place votes were 12, and fourth and fifth place votes were worth 10 and 8 points respectively. After that, the point differential was constant, with sixth place votes getting 5 points, seventh place votes getting 4, eighth getting 3, ninth place 2, and tenth place 1.