Klitschko-Fury off again, fight with Joshua likely

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Updated: September 28, 2016

The long-awaited world heavyweight championship rematch between Wladimir Klitsckho and Tyson Fury, not only has been cancelled for a second time in 2016, but may never happen.

Fury, who upset Klitschko to claim the unified IBF/WBA/WBO and IBO/Ring magazine heavyweight titles in November 2015, has been declared medically unfit to fight, due to mental illness. Therefore, Fury could be stripped of the heavyweight titles.

In a recent statement by Fury’s promoters at Hennessey Sports: “Tyson has, this week, been declared medically unfit to fight. Medical specialists have advised that the condition is too severe to allow him to participate in the rematch and that he will require treatment before going back into the ring. Tyson will now immediately undergo the treatment he needs to make a full recovery.”

It further stated: “We and Tyson wish to express our sincerest apologies to all those concerned with the event and all the boxing fans who had been looking forward to the rematch. Tyson is understandably devastated by the development.”

Should Fury be stripped of the heavyweight titles, it will further put the world heavyweight championship landscape into a further abysmal state, which is terrible news for Klitschko, the 6’ 7,” 245-pound mammoth, who is arguably the most dominant world heavyweight champion since Mike Tyson. Klitschko, who performed poorly against Fury by simply doing nothing for twelve rounds, was motivated to defeat Fury in the rematch. While waiting for Fury, Klitschko turned 40 years old, and by the time he returns to the ring he will be closer to 41. Klitschko’s birthday in March.

Of course Deontay Wilder is an undefeated WBC heavyweight champion, while Anthony Joshua is an undefeated IBF heavyweight champion. However, neither one of them defeated Klitschko. Fury did, and he is recognized as the world heavyweight champion. Fury’s inability to fight has brought the world heavyweight championship landscape back into obscurity.

When Wladimir, along with older brother Vitali Klitschko (now mayor of Kiev, Ukraine) shared the world heavyweight championship platform, they fought everyone in the rankings with no questions asked. It appeared as though the Klitschko brothers would reign forever during one of the most dominant eras in boxing history.

Klitschko’s losing to Fury was a disaster and an apparent shame for boxing. The way Fury has conducted himself in the media was atrocious. Klitschko, who did nothing in the ring while Fury in in front of him the entire fight, should be angry with himself and only himself for such a poer, poor showing. The only way Klitschko can comeback is if he does something significant, something special.

If he can’t get Fury to ever fight him again, he can recover from losing such a terrible fight by simply coming back and winning a world title.

There is discussion of a possible heavyweight title fight between Klitschko and Joshua for the IBF title.

“Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and I have actually agreed things financially,” Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente said. “It now depends a bit on the world organizations, but we would like to see the fight go ahead.”

Joshua, who won the IBF title in March with an emphatic two-round demolition of previously unbeaten Chris Martin in April has successfully defended the title only once. In June, Joshua’s raw power and speed was successfully showcased during a TKO blowout of Domimic Breazeale. Joshua is scheduled to defend his IBF heavyweight title on November 26, in Manchester, England but doesn’t have an opponent.

Meanwhile, Fury, who was stripped of the IBF title late in 2015 for refusing to defend it against Martin, could possibly be stripped of his remaining WBA/WBO titles. It’s possible that Klitschko and Joshua could box to unify the IBF/WBA and possibly the WBO title, but a lot of thought and decision-making must be processed by each sanctioning body.

“From our side, when Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua could box for the WBA and IBF belts on 26 November, we would like to take the fight,” said Hearn.

A fight between Klitschko and Joshua could be epic. Klitschko, who ruled the world heavyweight championship scene over the last decade, at 40, could face the end of his championship era against Joshua, arguably the future of the heavyweight division at age 26.

Joshua, an Olympic gold medalist at the 2012 Olympics, has knocked out every professional fighter he has fought since turning professional in July 2013. Joshua, like Fury, was a former sparring partner to Klitschko The 26-year-old Joshua, the super heavyweight champion at the 2012 London Olympic Games, has won all 17 of his fights by knock-out since turning pro in July 2013.The major question is whether Joshua is ready to cease the grasp of the world heavyweight championship reign from Klitschko, whom if you’d consider Fury’s inactivity, doping allegations, and apparent mental state, is still the beat heavyweight in the world.

Hopefully, Joshua-Klitschko will happen sooner rather than later.

DiBella Entertainment Press Release: On a night when undefeated heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison won his television debut and Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk and Ivan “The Volk” Golub remained unbeaten, light heavyweight Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzicregained his winning ways by registering a fifth-round knockout over previously unbeaten Travis Peterkin in the main event of aShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME Friday from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.

Making his ShoBox debut and first start since suffering his lone defeat on a disputed decision to Marcus Browne, a motivated Kalajdzic (22-1, 15 KOs) of St. Petersburg, Fla., dropped Peterkin (16-1-1, 7 KOs), of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y., two times in the fifth before the fight was stopped at 1:32.

Other televised results: Baranchyk (12-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., took a 10-round unanimous decision over Wang Zhimin (7-1, 3 KOs, 7-1 WSB), of Nutley, N.J. by way of Ningbo, China, in the ShoBox co-feature; immensely popular local favorite and son of the late former world heavyweight champion, Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison (12-0, 12 KOs) demolished previously unbeaten Ed Latimore (13-1, 7 KOs), of Pittsburgh, Pa., scoring a 2:19, first-round TKO; and Ukrainian welterweight Golub (13-0, 11 KOs, 5-0 WSB), of Brooklyn, registered a third-round knockout over James Stevenson (23-3, 16 KOs), of Baltimore, Md.

Kalajdzic overwhelmed Peterkin with consistent aggression, superior fighting spirit and better power. He landed 45 percent of his power shots, including 60 percent in the final round. Plus, he led 37-7 in body connects.

“The one-dimensional nature of Travis Peterkin cost him big time because he had no answer for Hot Rod’s right hand, and when he threw his own power shots they were ineffective,’’ ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood said afterward. “He was exposed tonight, and Kalajdzic rejuvenated his career after the loss with Marcus Browne.”

A 6-foot-2 native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kalajdzic dropped Peterkin the first time with a right-left combination and finished him with a right-left-right combination. Peterkin fell heavily in a neutral corner, prompting the referee to stop it.

“He was a little bit awkward so it took me a little bit to find my range but once I did and I got into a rhythm, I knew he wasn’t going to last,’’ Kalajdzic said. “We have been working on staying patient and finding that range and it showed tonight.

“I wanted to make a statement in this fight and I did. I want the biggest names in the light heavyweight division, but before that I want Marcus Browne again. That is unfinished business for me. If he really thinks he won the fight then let’s do it again. We could fight next week. I’m ready.’’

Baranchyk, despite getting cut for the first time in his career (over his left eye in the fifth), won by the scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91. There were no knockdowns.

The rounds, particularly in the fight’s second half, were competitive. Both fighters landed a high percentage of power shots, 44 percent for Baranchyk, 41 percent for Zhimin, but the difference was that Baranchyk was busier, crisper and physically stronger.

Going more than four rounds for the first time, he answered questions about his late-round stamina and feels he is now ready to step up again.

“The 140-pound division is loaded with talent,’’ Baranchyk said. “There are tons of fighters I would love to fight, but there are two guys in particular I’d like to fight next: Maurice Hooker and Abel Ramos. Hooker is with Roc Nation and is above me in the ratings. He’s undefeated and this would be a great fight to prove I’m one of the best up-and-coming guys in this division. I’d love Ramos to fight Ramos too. We are both promoted by DBE and I have heard he called me out. He’s a come forward guy and those are the type of fights I like and that make for great TV.

“I love the fans here in Miami and I love fighting on ShoBox.  This was my first time going 10 rounds and I feel great. Of course I would have liked to get the knockout because I always want to put on a spectacular show, but this was a great learning experience for me. He was an extremely tough opponent and I was surprised he was able to take so many big shots. We have been working on being patient and boxing and I was able to show that tonight.’’

Wang, who gave his best and never allowed Baranchyk to relax, said, “I felt a little tight and I couldn’t get my punches off like I wanted to. He was a little too big for me.’’

In a performance that lit up the arena, Lippe Morrison dropped Latimore two times and was on the verge of knocking him down again when the referee stepped in and halted matters at 2:19. Morrison decked Latimore the first time with a right hand midway through the first. Moments later, Latimore went down again from two rights and a left hook. After a series of shots, the referee stopped it.

“You know I have to watch the fight, but I think I did alright,’’ said Morrison after what was supposed to be the most dangerous assignment of his career. “I know I have to be patient and work behind my jab and just take the opening that I see – patiently. Being patient is something I’ve really been working on. I really felt my patience this time.

“I didn’t expect it to end this quick. I knew it might, but I didn’t plan on it. It felt good to drop a guy with my left hand. I never had the accuracy or quickness with the left that I do know. I now feel that I am equally adept with both hands. My left is like my right.

“To win a fight like this is definitely a relief. I was nervous about the fight, but not about fighting on TV.  This was supposed to be my toughest fight on paper and I think I did well.

“I feel I may have opened some eyes, but that’s in large part to Freddie Roach. I feel I’m improving thanks to Freddie. I’m throwing quicker, snappier punches and the coordination between my footwork with my hands is way better. All that is because of Freddie.

“I wasn’t going for the KO but I’m glad it happened. I could not have done it without Freddie, that’s for sure. I’ll be going back to California in a week and then right to the gym.”

The knockout was Morrison’s ninth in the first round. He also has two second-round knockouts and one fourth-round KO in a career that began in February 2014.

“We want to see more of Trey Lippe Morrison,’’ Farhood said. “Let’s let Freddie Roach to do a little bit more of work with him. He had a tremendous pressure on him tonight, but he did fantastically and he responded very well. He made a big step up in class tonight and couldn’t have produced a better result: a first-round knockout.”

After a competitive, fast-paced first round, Golub took over as Stevenson appeared to tire. A picturesque right hook to the chin dropped and staggered Stevenson, who still wobbly, got up by the count of five, but Golub continued his two-fisted assault, delivered over 20 unanswered punches and the referee stopped it.

“To me the guy that stole the show was Golub,” said Farhood. “We keep thinking of him as a boxer but he showed tremendous power tonight. He knocked out a very sturdy opponent in Stevenson and Baranchyk will benefit tremendously by going 10 rounds. He showed a lot by throwing as many punches as he did late in the fight against an opponent who simply wouldn’t be hurt.’’

“I could see from the first round that he was leaving himself wide open when he was coming in,’’ said Golub after his second ShoBoxstart. “I knew it was only a matter of time until I caught him with something really big and I would get him out of there. I’m happy with the performance but know I still have a lot to improve on. Our game plan was to be patient and box and let him come to us. I’m looking forward to getting back in there soon and continuing to climb the ranks of the welterweight division.’’

Friday’s four-fight telecast that was promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Tony Holden Productions in association with Fight Promotions and Roc Nation Sports will re-air Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND beginning today, Saturday, Sept. 24.

 

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