Posted by MICHAEL AMAKOR on Feb 9, 2011

American Heavyweights Under Attack

By Michael Amakor | February 26, 2006 

I was trying to do a ranking of the champions in the heavyweight division and one thing became quite clear to me, the United States is losing the war for the soul of the heavyweights division to fighters from the former republics of the Soviet Union. This realization made me embark on a scholarly mission to decode the top secret files on the former Soviet Union’s boxing training programs.

From my studies, I observed that Soviet heavyweights are bigger than their American counterparts. I first became aware of this size difference when seven foot Russian behemoth, Nikolay Valuev, seized the WBA crown from defending champion John Ruiz in Germany last year. A few ringside observers including myself believed Ruiz won the fight, but did not create a big fuss about the decision, perhaps feeling that Ruiz had this coming for a long time due to his unappealing boxing style. I personally was not going to campaign for a Valuev-Ruiz rematch after the furious inflammatory comments I received from EastsideBoxing.Com readers about a previous article I wrote titled “In Defense of John Ruiz.” But when Ruiz’s notorious foul mouthed trainer Norman Stone snatched the belt from the new champ’s waist in righteous indignation over this perceived wrongful decision, I was jumping for joy as Stone was able to give vent to my personal frustration about the reality of the loss of another title, which was doubly aggravating to me because the fight was not televised in the United States.

Now for the second time, we have a rematch between the giant six foot six, Wladimir Klitchko versus the  six foot two inch Chris Byrd on April 22, in another fight that highlights these size gains and differentials. My only consolation about this fight is that, it will be televised free of charge from Germany on HBO which most real boxing fans in the US subscribe too. However, the outcome of this fight is a forgone conclusion in my mind, this was further confirmed after seeing some pictures from the press conference showing the enormous David vs. Goliath size dimension differences between the two of them. Wladimir will win this fight, and he knows this judging by the smirk on his face, and by the fact that he already beat Byrd to a pulp in their previous encounter. His confidence should be at an all time high after his victory over power punching Sam Peter, a few months ago.

If Wladimir is victorious over Byrd, I predict that Wladimir will decide to stay back in Germany, where he will become a tin god, essentially imperious to all entreaties to fight stateside. The reason being, because with Nikolay Valuev holding the WBA title in his backyard, it would make more sense for the two of them to square off in a unification bout. That fight may happen late in 2006, and unless something goes terribly wrong, look for Klitchko to thoroughly outbox Nikolay Valuev, before finally knocking him out, to settle the old Russian vs. Ukrainian rivalries for good. My guess is that this bout, too, will not be televised in the United States, to my disdain.

While the battle for supremacy in Germany is raging on, Lamon Brewster will seek to unify his belt against the winner of the Hasim Rahman vs. James Toney fight. However, the winner of that fight will likely sustain a lot of damage from that war of attrition, and probably be completely spent force, falling before the relentless two fisted monstrous power of Brewster.

In my opinion, this will force a unification rematch between Brewster and former victim Wladimir Klitchko; Only this time, Wladimir will get his revenge by knocking out Brewster, like he would have done in their first fight if he had not run out of gas. So, there we have it, guys, an undisputed heavyweight champion from the former Soviet Union, with a fan base sufficient to generate ransom purses, which will ensure he makes his defenses only in Germany.

The story gets more exciting because the new undisputed heavyweight champion will likely make the first defense of his crown against either Sinan Samil Sam, Sergei Lycovich or Oleg Maskaev in whatever order. However, in a shocking upset, Wladimir will lose his titles to one of them, and all hell will break loose. Boxing promoter Don King will cry bloody murder when he suddenly realizes he has no heavyweight champion under contract, and he will engineer some legal landmines to ensure that the undisputed champion is elevated to the nonsensical status of a Super champion.

He will then begin promoting regular champion contests stateside but the boxing public will not be deceived by these antics, but this will result in the the new “Super champion” being forced to restrict his campaigns to places like Moscow, Kiev, Belarus and Mongolia to avoid losing a monstrous decision in the US, he will only fight his fellow Soviets and an upset or two along the way could result in a long sojourn of the titles overseas, again to my disdain.
Looking on the brighter side of possible developments, I hope the the Germans will do away with the expensive pay per view fees charged in the US, and beam these fights free of charge to the US to placate our sensitivities about losing control of the Heavyweight Division. By then, I would have compiled and submitted my top secret report to the newly formed US Boxing Commission, who will implement my recommendation immediately and create a program to begin recruiting our misguided giants away from basketball, to launch a coordinated counter attack to return all the belts piecemeal to the United States before the end of 2008.

However when I do away with my patriotic sentiments and observe this trend in boxing, I can only conclude that maybe boxing gains from this new influx into the top ranks of the division, and I have become icreasingly impressed by fighters from the Soviet union, like Vitali Klitchko, Vassily Jirov, Kostya Tsyzu, Sultan Ibragamov and the others mentioned earlier to name a few. The Soviet training programs have come to full fruition exposing styles that have proven quite effective, even if we caustically refer to them as European.

Punch On.


Michael Amakor has written 174 post in this blog.

Michael “Keep Punching” Amakor has been the Chief Scribe of popular boxing website FightKings.Com since 2003. He has written over 100 articles about boxing that have been vicariously read and extensively blogged across the internet and on major boxing websites. He can be seen regularly at the fights giving round by round commentary and he is a regular commentator on the boxing radio and TV circuit.

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