18.07.07 – By Dave Domenico: Since Wladimir Klitschko utterly dominated Lamon Brewster in the rematch earlier this month, Wladimir has solidified himself as the top heavyweight in the boxing division. As of now, you get a sense that Wladimir and his camp are scratching their heads. Whom can they fight now? Of course, the best choice is a unification bout but the other belt holders all have fights scheduled in October..
This includes Peter, Ibragimov, Chagaev and Maskaev, so Wlad would not likely get to face them until early next year. At the Gatti-Gomez press conference, Emanuel Steward, Wladimir’s trainer, said “I think Holyfield has fought himself back into contention.
And compared to what’s out there, his name is as big as anybody else. So to me that would be the ideal fight (Wladimir/Holyfield) in November, to see if this man can win a fifth championship. I never underestimate Evander.”
That leaves Klitschko open for another fight before the end of the year. Again, whom could he fight? Who would generate the most interest and present the best challenge. I hate to say it but there are not many fighters out there besides the fighters listed above who can. However, wait! What about the legendary and beloved Evander Holyfield? He has looked impressive in his last few fights and is still stubbornly perusing a title shot at the age of 44.
Because of his greatness, it can be argued that he is still a better fighter than the other fighters mentioned above. So why not? This fight could generate some serious buzz to the casual boxing fan and draw in some serious interest in the heavyweight division. On paper, this fight looks great. Old lion against young lion, legend against prodigy. USA against Russia etc. I am not trying to sell this fight. If you look at this potential match-up with your heart, it looks great. If you look with your brain, it is likely a bad mismatch.
At Holyfield’s age, it is very likely he cannot compete with the young Klitschko and stands a very good chance of getting hurt. Nevertheless, Evander is on a quest to become “undisputed” heavyweight champion and a victory over Wladimir Klischko would achieve that. A win over the other champions would give him a belt but it would not make him undisputed. Realistically, this fight could be set for later this year and would not be that far fetched if you look at boxing’s history. Holyfield himself gave George Foreman a shot a the title when foreman was 42.
Rocky Maricano gave the 43-year-old and still dangerous Archie Moore a shot. Larry Holmes has had title shots in his forties. There is a tradition of this in boxing as a passing of the torch or right of passage if you will. Despite the odds, Holyfield may have earned the right to challenge for the undisputed title regardless of the speculation. This fight may provide the interest, excitement, and buzz in a division that has slipped off the radar in recent years.
All we can hope for is “If” this fight comes off, will it be a meaningful match-up for the division or, a desperate attempt to generate interest in a division that is faded. All we can hope for is that it turns out to be a victory for both fighters and the sport, if in fact the fight takes place.