An Open Letter to Wladimir Klitschko
11.03.07 - Wladimir, first I’d like to congratulate you on a very credible performance against Ray Austin. You looked very fit; despite the extra weight that you carried into this fight. The hand speed you exhibited in your repeated left hooks were impressive, reminding me of past heavyweight boxing champions who had more than just size.
Article posted on 12.03.2007
But let’s get down to business.
Your statement - "I didn't choose this opponent. This was a mandatory defence. I had to fight Ray Austin and after that I want to unify the titles. It doesn't matter who is going to be next." – was one that struck a chord with me. I feel that boxing in general is being held to ransom by the alphabet sanctioning bodies and promoters who only want to increase their stake with each and every fight they promote.
The fact that you want to unify the titles is very admirable. That you want to give us an undisputed unified boxing champion (or pair of champions if your brother is successful in beating Maskaev and perhaps Briggs if he still has the strap).
However, I have grave concerns that the alphabet organisations will work against you in your mission, with pointless mandatory fights such as Ray Austin.
As the one heavyweight who is universally recognised as the best in today’s era of heavyweights, you do not need the alphabet organisation to complete your goal of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Your profile in the sport, your ability to dominate near any heavyweight in the division (except your brother who you will not fight) and the intelligence you show in your fight interviews will allow you to become not only the heavyweight champion of the world, but in fact, the bright light in a dark time of boxing.
Wladimir, I put it to you that you could end the strangle hold that alphabet organisations have on boxing – at least in the heavyweight division.
With each alphabet sanctioned title you win, throw it in the bin and declare that the belt itself means nothing to you and that you want to prove yourself to the world that you are the only heavyweight champion. State that the only title that matters to you is the Ring Championship which is historically given to the best fighter of the day and declare a challenge to all other boxers of all other weight classes that they do the same.
I am sure you will find Don King and boxers such as Floyd Mayweather Jr who will not want to give away their little trinkets so easily, but the public will demand more of boxers if we have an example to point towards as how a real champion acts.
A belt does not make you a champion, Wladimir.
If you accept this challenge, drop each of the titles you gain from alphabet organizations as you beat their show-pony fighters, you will truly find out what it means to be the heavyweight champion of the world.
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