News and Views on the Heavyweight Division
by Johnny Walker
POVETKIN VS RAHMAN MOVED TO HAMBURG
The David Haye vs Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora heavyweight grudge matchup, set for July 14 in London, England, continues to make news.
The on-again, off-again undercard fight featuring WBA “regular” heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin defending against Lennox Lewis conqueror Hasim Rahman is now definitely OFF the London show.
According to a press release from promoter Frank Warren, “Due to licensing conditions at West Ham United, Haye v Chisora could not start later than 10pm and with German TV network ARD insisting, due to their Saturday night scheduling, that Povetkin v Rahman must fill that slot and be before Haye v Chisora, that time frame was impossible to work to.
“The show is being televised in sixty-plus countries, many with more than a one hour time difference, so to get everyone to agree to ARD’s preferred order would be impossible.”
Povetkin and Rahman will now meet at the Sporthalle in Hamburg, Germany, on the same date, July 14.
CHISORA SAYS HE’LL END HAYE’S CAREER
Meanwhile, the always colorful Chisora has promised to end David Haye’s career and send him back into retirement when they meet in the ring.
Chisora invoked the specter of Carl Thompson, the veteran heavyweight who stopped Haye in 2004, while claiming he’ll go far beyond what happened to Haye in his two losses (the other being to Wladimir Klitschko in 2011).
“Haye’s going to wish he was in the ring with Carl Thompson again, that was mild compared to what I’m going to be dishing out to him,” Chisora claims.
“It’s going to be like a bad dream coming back to haunt Haye, I’ll leave him hanging on the ropes just like Thompson did.
“I’ll be taking Haye out of the game, this will be his last fight in boxing and he can forget about fighting any Klitschko again.
“Wladimir played with him for twelve rounds, the difference is I’ll be punishing him for twelve rounds and giving him the worst beating he’s had.
“There’s too much pride on the line, there’s no way I’m going to lose to Haye.”
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO TALKS UP TONY THOMPSON
The heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers are taking some heat lately for their choice of opponents.
While WBC champion Vitali ponders taking on the unknown (“even to himself,” quips David Haye) Manuel Charr what for might be his last fight before retirement, Wladimir, who owns the rest of the major titles, is still on the defensive from last time out, when he took on an optional opponent in the totally overmatched French ex-cruiserweight, Jean Marc Mormeck.
In the effort to pump up some interest in the fight, Wlad had compared the soft-spoken Mormeck to Mike Tyson, a bit of hyperbole that blew up in his face when Mormeck gave a pitiful, uncompetitive effort against him.
Now, on July 7 in Bern, Switzerland, Wlad is facing another soft-spoken guy he’s already knocked out in mandatory American challenger Tony Thompson, and once again, Wlad is left trying to make the case for his opponent.
“Listen, I will tell you something, Thompson will beat probably everyone in [the] top ten, but my brother,” Wlad says.
“He is totally underestimated. Nobody want to fight him … because everyone knows it’s a very tough job to do.
“He’s not exciting, he’s not such a talker that talks his way… making the hype. He’s a family father, he talks smoothly. He’s actually a nice guy.
“But the way he fights, it’s not impressive, but it’s effective. He’s definitely going to beat the top ten.”
To be fair, Thompson is about the same height as Wladimir, and did give the younger Klitschko some problems, cutting him and landing some nice power shots when they fought in 2008. It would be a shock if Thompson looked anywhere near as out of place as Mormeck did against the champ.
Thompson was hampered by some nagging injuries last time out, but claims to be in much better health now, so this one might be a sleeper (in the sense of outperforming expectations), overshadowed as it has been by the David Haye versus Dereck Chisora grudge showdown in London.
ARREOLA OUT OF KLITSCHKO CONTENTION?
Another opponent Wladimir Klitschko had been talking up for a fall fight in the United States, American Cristobal Arreola, has apparently taken himself out of the running.
Arreola recently pulled out of a fight with journeyman Mike Mollo about a day after agreeing to meet him on the undercard of the Victor Ortiz vs Josesito Lopez bout on Showtime. Rumors circulated that Arreola had gone AWOL from his training camp, and was squabbling with trainer Henry Ramirez.
Finally, it was reported that Arreola is suffering from a chronic injury to his left elbow, and that the Klitschko fight is off the table.
“I am told Arreola will not be facing Klitschko in the fall. His camp is no longer pursuing that fight,” writes ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
VITALI’S NEXT OPPONENT STILL UP IN THE AIR
In the internet media age, everybody wants to be the first to break a story, and this often leads to stories being reported as fact before anyone has really bothered to check them out.
Recently, it was reported on many boxing and general sports sites that Vitali Klitschko would be meeting the previously mentioned Manuel Charr in Kiev for his last fight before retirement.
However, as of this writing, Klitschko’s opponent is still unknown, though a financial offer has been made to Charr. However, other heavyweights, including Poland’s Mariusz Wach and Bermane Stiverne of Canada, are still in the running, and the site of the fight is also not settled, except that it will take place somewhere in Europe.
As for Vitali’s supposed retirement, that will likely depend on his political fortunes in Ukraine in elections to be held in the fall. While Bernd Boente, the Klitschkos’ manager, has mused publicly about Vitali’s possible retirement, the man himself has made no definitive statement about his next fight being his last.
ADAMEK SAYS NO CHAMBERS REMATCH
“Fast” Eddie Chambers feels he got a raw deal recently at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, when he lost a unanimous decision to Polish warrior Tomasz Adamek, calling the verdict for the Pole a “horrible decision.”
Chambers appeared to make it a close fight, his slick style confounding the Pole at times even though he was fighting with one arm due to an injury early in the bout.
But Adamek makes is clear he is having none of it, and rejects the idea of a rematch with Fast Eddie.
“Please quote this: it was a easy fight because Chambers did nothing to challenge me, “ Adamek tells Fightnews.com.
“He did not want to engage in the fight. He decided to throw maybe two punches and then he went every time into his defensive shell.
“The chapter called ‘Eddie Chambers’ is closed. I fought him, won, and now is the time to take another opponent even better than Eddie.”
Adamek plans to return on Sept. 8 back at the Prudential Center.