Boxing


Vitali Klitschko vs David Haye Looks To Be On, But Will It Be For The Title?

15.12.08 - by James Slater, photo by Pavel "Eagle eye" Terehov - As has already been making the rounds on practically every single boxing site on the internet, there is a very good chance David Haye will get what he has been desperate for, and he will face WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko in 2009. Haye has been quoted as saying the fight is a "done deal," and that he and the elder Klitschko will clash in London next summer. As great and exciting as this new is, though, another news article has thrown up speculation that the fight, if it does indeed happen (and both sides definitely do want the bout), may not be for the WBC crown "Dr. Iron Fist" holds..

haye KlitschkoAs has been reported in the past, Cuban defector Juan Carlos Gomez is Klitschko's mandatory contender with the WBC and he has to be accommodated or the 37-year-old may be stripped of his belt. Speaking in The Guardian newspaper today, Bernd Boente, the manager of the two Klitschkos, spoke of how he would be willing to risk this action taking place if it was necessary to make the fight all of boxing wants to see.

"We are absolutely confident this is a fight that the whole of Germany and Britain will want to see," Boente told the paper. "But it is also one which will sell across the world. It is a huge fight which, with the exception of one between Wladimir and Vitali - which will never happen - is the best heavyweight fight that can be made right now.

"I think that this fight is bigger than the belt and, if the WBC does not see sense, then we would go ahead with it without the WBC belt."

Once again, if the WBC does indeed take it upon itself to strip Vitali, the organisation will have shot itself in the foot. Yes, Gomez is (somehow) the WBC #1 at heavyweight, and therefore is entitled to his shot. But who would really care too much about that fight? No way would it/has it, catch the imagination of the public the way a Klitschko-Haye fight has. Will the fans care if the WBC belt is not on the line next June? Will they hell! Boente is right, some fights, including this one, are bigger than titles.

Having said that, holding the world titles they currently do - all but one of the four major titles out there - means a lot to the Klitschkos. They are very proud about being co-holders of the heavyweight championship of the world. Indeed, they made boxing history by becoming the first brothers to hold world titles at heavyweight at the same time. Would Vitali really want to give up his championship status just to get a fight with Haye? Sure, the real fans would still look at Vitali (or Haye, should he cause the upset) as the real champion even if the WBC had taken his belt from him, so when it all boils down to it, it won't make that much difference what the organisation chooses to do. But until Vitali comes out and says he is willing to give up his belt the fight may well be in jeopardy.

The easiest and most logical thing the WBC could do is to see sense and let Klitschko fight Haye, with Gomez promised a shot at the winner. In the final analysis, Klitschko-Haye is a fight that needs to be made as soon as possible so as to re-ignite some real excitement into the heavyweight division. Who wouldn't want to see this fight? With or without the WBC's blessing, Klitschko Vs. Haye is a fight the fans will run to. Klitschko-Gomez is not.

Article posted on 15.12.2008



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