Boxing


Vitali Klitscho Targets Nikolai Valuev, Wants Him Next Instead Of Oleg Maskaev

by James Slater - Reigning WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has made it quite clear he has zero interest in a fight with 39-year-old Oleg Maskaev, the former WBC title holder - even going as far as filing an official complaint regarding the Maskaev fight, which the WBC want for the 37-year-old after he has hopefully won on March 21st against Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez..

Stating that he gets no motivation from a fight with "The Big O," and that the fans would also fail to feel motivated to pay to see such a match-up, Klitschko wants bigger, more lucrative fights. And while the WBC were very kind to "Dr. Iron Fist" for a number of years, during which time he was unable to fight due to injury, he now evidently sees no reason why he should pay the organisation back by way of making a defence against Maskaev - even though it's likely Oleg and his team will push as hard as they can for the fight.

So who, exactly, does Vitali want to fight next, after he has beaten "The Black Panther?" Klitschko is sure he will defeat the Cuban southpaw when he meets him in a just over two weeks time, and for his next fight he would most like to take on current WBA boss Nikolai Valuev (Ruslan Chagaev, of course, still has a genuine claim to being the "real" WBA champion).

Speaking from his training camp, Klitschko spoke to Today recently.

"I suppose Maskaev can do what he wants. And I will call a spade a spade," Vitali said. "I do not care about a fight with Maskaev. Moreover, it's not interesting for boxing fans. It should be understood that boxing, this is a business.

"The only world title belt which is not yet in our family is held by Nikolai Valuev. I think that I will fight against him this year and I will do everything so that, with Wladmir, we can have the full quota of world championship belts."

Vitali is very possibly correct if he thinks the fans would prefer a unification bout between he and the 7" Russian to a bout between he and Maskaev, but would the Klitschko's really have all the belts if this fight went ahead? Wouldn't it be likely that the WBC would consider stripping Vitali of his WBC crown if he refused to play ball and fight their chosen foe in their former champ? It wouldn't do the organisation too many favours, but it's possible that Don Jose's mob would do just that. Then, of course, the Klitschko's would still be one strap short in their cleaning up quest (why is it that the alphabet titles mean so much to the two brothers anyway? Everyone knows they are the two best big men in the world, and it doesn't take any organisation's belt to prove it).

A fight between the elder Klitschko and Valuev would be an interesting spectacle, but judging by both fighter's last performance there would only be one winner - and his surname ends with the letters K and O.

Let's see if Vitali will be allowed to take the fight he wants later this year - if, of course, he does get past Gomez.

Article posted on 07.03.2009



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