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Soklin’s Corner: Wladimir Klitschko: Our Savior

3594-743112.jpgLos Angeles, CA (July 9, 2007) – As successful as the other boxing divisions have been over the past ten years, the heavyweight division should be boxing’s most important division. As good as Ward-Gatti was, as great as Barrera-Morales was, as good as any Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather or Shane Mosley fight can be. It is Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Joe Louis and Muhammed Ali who will forever go down in boxing’s history, not as great fighters but as great Heavyweight Champions. The heavyweights have and always will be the sports biggest stars. Sorry Oscar De La Hoya and Roy Jones Jr., but it is the truth. Boxing’s audience is captivated by climbing to the top, and there is no higher peak than being heavyweight champion. With that said, the heavyweight division is in a lull. The division will be great again, and Wladimir Klitschko may be a bigger part of the reason than many of us recognize.

Last Saturday, Wladimir Klitschko (49-3) avenged his last defeat when he rather easily outclassed, outpunched and most outjabbed an overmatched Lamon Brewster. Klitschko, 31, is currently the IBO and IBF heavyweight champion, his victory over Brewster and the dominance in which he showed, even if it is not overly exciting, showed the world that he is far and away the best contender to unify the heavyweight division. Klitschko would make a great champion, and he has the prowess and ring presence to win the remaining titles and complete that important unification. A quest towards unification, especially that final fight with only one title left, would be one the biggest heavyweight battle over the last ten years. The Associated Press is reporting, that Klitschko’s trainers have said he may have broken his hand during the fight which makes his dominant win over Brewster all the more impressive. Klitschko was dominant and Brewster at the urging of his corner never made it off his stool at the end of the sixth round.
In October, WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov and WBA champ Ruslan Chagaev have a scheduled unification bout in Russia. Klitschko, possibly after one more fight around that same period of time will be in line and ready for a major unification bout in early 2008. Igragimov hails from Russia, Chavaev is from Uzbekistan, and Klitschko was born in Ukraine. The current breed of successful heavyweights is helping to give the possible unification worldwide importance. Bondshurt.jpg Klitschko, is currently the biggest star of them all, he possess worldwide appeal and capability to draw as travels across Europe. Looking into the future, I can see Klitschko holding all of the heavyweight titles no later than middle of 2008. I also see, maybe farther into the future a crop of new, talented, strong, American heavyweights. The heavyweight division is cyclical and the next Mike Tyson is not that far away. The next great American fighter will be able to possibly compete against Klitschko, hopefully in a rivalry that reinvigorates the heavyweight division. For now though, I hope all boxing fans realize the greatness and the boxing talent they are witnessing when they watch Klitschko. His current reign reminds me of the Barry Bonds home run chase. No, I am not implying Klitschko is juicing. I am saying that even if you dislike Bonds we are all witnessing greatness and with that a certain level of respect has to shown. Personally, I hope Klitschko unifies the titles and Bonds gets hurt and retires before 755.


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