Finally, A Ring Magazine Champ. So Whatís New?
By Jason Peck - Thatís it. No more questions, and youíve got the Ring Magazine to thank for it. For years now, the Ring has insisted that only their belt matters, and winning immediately clears the confusion sown by the alphabets. Therefore, the heavyweight quagmire ended sometime last night, when Wladimir Klitschko finally won their vacant belt. Ring aficionados, breathe a sigh of relief. But what changed, really?
Article posted on 22.06.2009
Now that the decisive moment has finally come, I donít see the difference. Klitschko came into the fight almost universally recognized as the best heavyweight in the world. He left in the same way with the same standing. His haters carry the same gripes, his supporters sing the same praises. This is not crowning a new champ, but more like giving a lifetime achievement award. Youíre just catching up with him.
And unless the Ring belt comes with superpowers, Klitschko still has the same strengths and weaknesses he does before. The same fighters who had a chance of beating him have the same chance. The fighters he would easily steamroll will still be squashed flat. David Haye still has the same chance (or lack of one, in my opinion) of beating the crowned Klitschko as the uncrowned Klitschko. That means the boxing experts would still have the same concerns they did before.
And yet, I know that more than a few fans will still talk as though this changes everything. Explain it to me. How?
The only difference is that perhaps Klitschko will rise a bit in the Magazineís estimation, after his meager showing in the Ringís list of the 100-greatest active boxers. Itís hard to imagine any fighter dominating any other weight class as thoroughly as Wladimir has dominated the heavyweights, and getting so little in terms of praise to show for it. In Germany, Klitschko is the greatest thing since sliced bratwurst, but in America I fear heís doomed forever to be an under-appreciated champion along the lines of Larry Holmes.
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