WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko's next decision is a big one. If actions speak louder than words we all know what Big Brother's message is if decides to face Oleg Maskaev instead of James Toney, Lamon Brewster, Chris Byrd or any other threat to his throne. The message is, "I'm not here to fight the best!" Personally I think Vitali should take some extra time to fully recover for a fight with the winner of Hasim Rahman-Monte Barrett, but Klitschko is hell bent on fighting on September 24, so expecting him to wait until mid-August to see if Rock or Barrett could be ready in time is promotional impossibility. With that being said, the chances of Vitali defending his WBC heavyweight title on September 24 seem less and less likely with each passing day.
Although he'd still risk getting stripped of his WBC title, Klitschko would've earned high praises from boxing fans for returning from back surgery to face Brewster or Toney. Dropping names like Brewster and Toney and then baiting and switching us up with Oleg Maskaev is a double dose of some bad medicine from the good doctor.
Who the hell wants to see Klitschko versus Maskaev? Apparently not even HBO.
In past stories I've joked about how Klitschko must lay his pimp hand down at HBO's office since the network seems to accomodate his every request.
Although Team Klitschko hasn't officially informed the network of any of their plans for September 24, Boxingtalk can guarantee you that HBO WILL NOT accept Klitschko-Maskaev.
If HBO, who has jumped through hoops and lost millions of dollars on the Williams PPV for Vitali, isn't willing to accept Maskaev, it's hard to imagine another network wanting being interested in the fight.
Chris Byrd and Lamon Brewster are still waiting on mandatory defenses, something Vitali apparently knows nothing about, so scratch those two off his list of possibilites.
(Boxingtalk has learned that in Ukranian hypocrite is spelled K-L-I-T-S-C-H-K-O. Isn't it ironic how baby brother is going to court claiming to be a mandatory challenger and demanding a fight, whereas big brother does everything in his power to avoid his mandatory obligtaions?)
Klitschko initially offered James Toney 35% of the pot to fight him on September 24.
As you know, Klitschko-Toney didn't look to good When James Toney and Dan Goossen countered Vitali's offer through Boxingtalk.com by demanding parity.
A few days after our exclusive interview with Goossen and Toney, Vitali responded on his official website, Klitschko.com, and basically said that he would like to fight James Toney but his demands (50-50 purse split) must change for the fight to happen.
A week passes and nothing. Next thing I hear is Vitali Klitschko has reached out to the Oleg Maskaev people and it won't be difficult for them to agree on the terms of the bout.
Last Friday Goossen and Klitschko's advisor Shelly Finkel exchanged some pleasantries on Boxingtalk.com. Goossen said Team Toney is ready to accept 40% of the pot and Shelly Finkel said Toney turned down $3M and they were already pretty far along with "the other fight."
Fortunately for boxing fans, pretty far along isn't done.
There's still some time for Goossen and Finkel to put their heads together, iron out some details and make it happen.
We can inform you that Goossen and Finkel have began talking again since their little back and forth squabble last Friday, so all hope is not yet lost. By the way, we also understand that Klitschko-Toney is the heavyweight fight HBO is most interested in as this goes to print.
Klitschko-Toney is the kind of fight that helps the heavyweight division. All Klitschko-Maskaev does is further delay the process of the boxing world having one true world heavyweight champion.
Last week Goossen told Boxingtalk, "At least Riddick Bowe threw his belt in the trash, Vitali gets his opponents from there."
If Klitschko opts to face Maskaev instead of James Toney, Papa Goosse will have already said it better than any of us can.
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