Boxing


2008, The Year The Klitschko Brothers Make Boxing History?

Wladimir Klitschko22.09.08 - by James Slater - For a long time now, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko have spoken about their dream of being reigning heavyweight champions at the same time. Should they achieve their goal they will have made boxing history, as never before have two brothers simultaneously held versions of the world heavyweight title. Before the year 2008 is out, the Klitschko bother's dream could be made true.

For at least a couple of years it looked like the dream would remain as just that, a dream. Vitali, who became the first of the two siblings to win a universally recognised version of the world title when he beat Corrie Sanders for the WBC belt in 2004 (avenging a defeat suffered by his brother in the process), made just one retention before leaving the sport for almost four years due to injury. That left Wladimir to take over, and the younger brother banged out Chris Byrd to win the IBF belt in 2006. It seemed the two Klitschkos were destined only to reign separately..

Vitali's recent and unsuccessful attempts at making a comeback reinforced this opinion. Due to more injuries, "Dr. Iron Fist" was forced to put to rest his desires of recapturing a belt and ruling the world alongside his brother, who had slowly but surely won over the critics and proven himself as the best big man in the world, as well as adding the WBO belt (which both he, and before him, Vitali had held previously) to his IBF crown.

But in the past couple of months the dream has once again been given a chance of coming true. In less than three week's time, Vitali, now aged 37, will challenge Samuel Peter for the Nigerian's WBC title. If the elder Klitschko can win on October 11th, the two brother's long-time dream will become true. If Vitali, who is still the "Champion Emeritus" according to the WBC, can recapture the actual belt he once wore, he and Wladimir will be the very first boxing brothers to have reigned as heavyweight kings at the same time. Boxing history, then, could be re-written later this year. Can Vitali do it?

The task will not be easy. Peter, who can whack (as little bother Wladimir found out firsthand), will no doubt come out aiming to blast away a rusty Klitschko at the sound of the first bell. We really don't know how Vitali will respond when hit and we don't know if his own punches will be as effective as they used to be. Four years without a single bout is a long time, and the comeback, along with the Klitschko's dream, could end in disaster. Tensions will almost certainly be high in Germany on October 11th.

Wladimir, meanwhile, has a potentially tough defence ahead of him on December 13th, when he goes up against the unbeaten Alexander Povetkin. Still, even if the 32-year-old were to lose that fight he will still have been the IBF and WBO champ alongside his WBC champ of a brother for just over two months. Of course, Wladmir will be hoping to dispatch Povetkin so that he and Vitali will be able to finish off 2008 as reigning heavyweight champions. But even if the upset happens, and "Dr. Steel Hammer" loses in December, he and big brother will still have seen their goal realised. They will have co-ruled as heavyweight champions, if only for a little while.

It's all up to Vitali in his October fight with "The Nigerian Nightmare." Boxing history may soon be made!

Article posted on 23.09.2008



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