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BASN Boxing Notebook: Klitschko’s Return Bumps Peter Out of Heavyweight Title Fight
By Francis Walker
Updated: January 30, 2007
NEW YORK — Vitali Klitschko, the older brother of IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, is coming out of retirement. Unfortunately for Sam Peter, Vitali’s return will cost the Nigerian an immediate opportunity to fight Oleg Maskaev for the WBC heavyweight championship.
“I’ve been back in the gym for a couple of weeks and I feel great,” Vitali Klitschko said in a recent statement. “My injuries have healed and after much hard work and with the approval of the doctors, I am cleared to continue my boxing career.”
Vitali was the WBC heavyweight champion before injuries forced him to retire in 2005. Vitlai never lost his championship in the ring. The WBC will allow Klitschko to fight for the title in his first fight back. How can a fighter who hasn’t boxed since November 2004 bump another fighter who won two consecutive heavyweight title elimination bouts?
“I am returning to the ring to get my WBC Heavyweight Championship back, Vitali Klitschko said in a recent statement. “In November 2005, due to a serious knee injury, I retired without having lost the WBC belt in the ring. At the WBC gala event on December 20, 2005 in Cancun, Mexico, the WBC designated me as “WBC Champion Emeritus” and assured me that whenever I was ready to return, I would become the immediate mandatory challenger for the title.”
According to WBC Rule 1.21, b) a champion can defend their championship against a former or retired world champion upon majority vote of the Board of Governors.
According to WBC rule 1.21-Mandatory Defense Obligations (x), “Under extreme special circumstances, such as an unification bout or a proposed bout with a legendary boxer, that could result in a great promotion, prestige, and importance for the sport of boxing, the WBC may sanction such bout as a mandatory bout. If a mandatory challenger had already been appointed by the WBC, the winner of the special bout will then face the mandatory challenger without an intervening contest.”
Since winning the WBC title following a repeat knockout victory over Hasim Rahman in August, Maskaev has already had one voluntary title defense. In December 2006, Maskaev won a 12-round unanimous decision against unknown Peter Okhello in the first heavyweight title bout in Russia.
Peter is coming fresh off a pair of WBC elimination victories against James Toney. Peter has waited patiently for his first world title shot and for him to be denied in this manner is simply unfair.
“I’m back, and I have requested that the WBC sanction a bout between me and Oleg Maskaev. I look forward to reclaiming my title, and want to thank everyone who has been so supportive during my short retirement from the ring.”
Wladimir Klitschko-Shannon Briggs Inch Closer
Wladimir Klitschko and Shannon Briggs maybe closer to a world heavyweight championship showdown than originally anticipated. On March 10, both Wladimir and Briggs will be featured on an HBO heavyweight title doubleheader from separate locations.
Briggs (48-4-1, 42 KOs), winner of 12 consecutive knockout victories, returns home to the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City to face undefeated mandatory challenger Sultan Ibragimov (19-0, 16 KOs). It will be Briggs’ first defense of the WBO title he won when he knocked out Sergui Liakhovich at 2:59 of the last round. Briggs was trailing behind on all three judges’ scorecards before knocking knocked Liakhovich through the ropes outside the ring.
Wladimir Klitschko (47-3, 42 KOs) returns to SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany to make the second defense of the IBF heavyweight title against No. 1-ranked Ray Austin (24-3-4, 16 KOs). It was at the same arena when Klitschko knocked out Chris Byrd in the seventh round of what was perhaps the most impressive performance of Wladimir’s career.
Klitschko knocked out previously unbeaten U.S. Olympian and heavyweight prospect Calvin Brock in the seventh round at Madison Square Garden in November.
It’s a coincidence that both mandatories Austin and Ibragimov fought one another to an exciting 12-round draw in July 2006. Both fighters were knocked down during a fight which was billed as an IBF heavyweight title eliminator.
Chagaev Next For Valuev
Undefeated WBA heavyweight champion, Nikolai Valuev is fresh off his third round TKO of Jameel McCline on January 20. The fight ended after McCline landed awkwardly on his side after missing the large 7’ 3,” 325-pound giant with a punch. Valuev (46-0, 34 KOs) has a mandatory defense against undefeated No. 1-ranked Ruslan Chagaev (22-0-1, 17 KOs).
Chagaev has fought exclusively out of Germany-Austria for the last three years. He became the highest-ranked WBA heavyweight contender in November when he won a 12-round split decision against former two-time champion, John Ruiz.
Ruiz, the first Latino to win a world heavyweight championship twice, was the man Valuev defeated to win the WBA title in December 2005. Valuev has successfully defended his championship three times, including a recent third-round TKO of Jameel McCline.
Valuev is four victories way from breaking the late Rocky Marciano’s heavyweight record (49-0).
De La Hoya-Mayweather Tickets
Tickets for the epic WBC super welterweight showdown between Oscar De La Hoya (38-4, 30 KOs) and undefeated Floyd Mayweather (37-0, 24 KOs) on Saturday, May 5, MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, went on sale this past Saturday. Only 3,000 tickets will be made available to the general public. Imagine the heavy hitters, high rollers, and celebrities that will be attending the fight.
Tickets are priced at $ 2,000, $1,000, $1,500, $750, $350, & $150. De La Hoya-Mayweather is expected to surpass Nevada’s live gate record generated from Lennox Lewis rematch with Evander Holyfield at the Thomas & Mack Center in November 1999. The fight generated $16,860,300 at the gate.