28.02.06 – By Michael Amakor: I was trying to do a ranking of the champions in the heavyweight division and one thing became quite clear to me, the United States is losing the war of the heavyweights to fighters from the former republics of the Soviet Union. This realization has made me begin a scholarly exercise to obtain any mythical and secret files about Soviet Era boxing training programs.
From my studies, I came to the conclusion that the heavyweights are also getting bigger in comparison to the American fighters,. I first noticed this size difference when seven foot Russian behemoth, Nikolay Valuev, seized the WBA crown from defending champion John Ruiz, defeating him in a controversial decision in Germany last year. A few ringside observers believed Ruiz won the fight, but did not create a big fuss about it, perhaps feeling that Ruiz had this coming for a long time due to his unappealing fighting style. I, myself, was not going to campaign for a Valuev-Ruiz rematch after the bashing I received from ESB readers in a previous article about Ruiz. But when Ruiz’s manager Norman Stone snatched the belt from Nikolay’s hand after Valuev was declared the new champion, I was jumping for joy, as Stone was able to give vent to my frustration about the reality of the loss of a title, which I felt was double aggravating to me, considering that the fight was not televised in the United States.
Now for the second time, we have a rematch between the giant six foot six, Wladimir Klitchko, against six foot two inch Chris Byrd on April 22, in another fight that highlights these size gains. The only consolation for me about this fight is that it will be televised from Germany on HBO. I know in my mind that the outcome of this rematch is a forgone conclusion, especially after seeing the pictures from the press conference that showed the David vs. Goliath size dimension differences between the two of them. The way I see it, Wladimir knows he will win this fight because he beat Byrd to a pulp previously. Also, Wladimir’s confidence appears to be at an all time high after his victory over power punching Sam Peter, a few months ago.
If Wladimir is victorious over Byrd, I predict that Wladimir will decide to stay back in Germany, where he will become a tin god, essentially imperious to all entreaties to fight stateside. The reason being, because with Nikolay Valuev holding the WBA title in his backyard, it would make more sense for the two of them to square off in a unification bout. That fight may happen late in 2006, and unless something goes terribly wrong, look for Klitchko to thoroughly outbox Nikolay Valuev, before finally knocking him out, to settle the old Russian vs. Ukrainian rivalries for good. My guess is that this bout, too, will not be televised in the United States, to my disdain.
While the battle for supremacy in Germany is raging on, Lamon Brewster will seek to unify his belt against the winner of the Hasim Rahman vs. James Toney fight. However, the winner of that fight will likely sustain a lot of damage from that war of attrition, and probably be completely spent force, falling before the relentless two fisted monstrous power of Brewster.
In my opinion, this will force a unification rematch between Brewster and former victim Wladimir Klitchko; Only this time, Wladimir will get his revenge by knocking out Brewster, like he would have done in their first fight if he had not run out of gas. So, there we have it, guys, an undisputed heavyweight champion from the former Soviet Union, with a fan base sufficient to generate ransom purses, which will ensure he makes his defenses only in Germany.
The story gets more exciting because the new undisputed heavyweight champion will likely make the first defense of his crown against either Sinan Samil Sam, Sergei Lycovich or Oleg Maskaev in whatever order. However, in a shocking upset, Wladimir will lose his titles to one of them, and all hell will break loose.
Looking on the brighter side of possible developments, I predict that the Germans will do away with the annoying American type pay per view fees and beam the fights free of charge to the United States to placate our sensitivities. By then, I would have compiled and submitted my wishful report to the newly formed US Boxing Commission, who will begin recruiting our giants away from basketball, to launch a coordinated counter attack to return all the belts piecemeal to the United States before the end of 2008.
But on deeper reflection, this is good for boxing and I have become increasingly impressed by fighters from the Soviet union, like Vitali Klitchko, Vassily Jirov, Kostya Tsyzu, Sultan Ibragamov and mentioned earlier to name a few, their styles have proven quite effective, even if we term them European.