Heavyweight Box Off Between Povetkin-Byrd, Brock-Chambers
Recently, the IBF came up with the brilliant idea of having a box-off competition to find out who will be the mandatory challenger to IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. This in itself is fine with me, but when they revealed who they had picked for the box off competition – Chris Byrd, Eddie Chambers, Calvin Brock, and Alexander Povetkin – I was less than pleased with the names that had been chosen. the competition goes like this, Chris Byrd faces Alexander Povetkin on October 27th, while Calvin Brock fights Eddie Chambers on November 2nd.
The main problem, however, is that two of the names – Brock and Byrd – have been recently beaten by Wladimir in the past year, which makes the box-off potentially a problem if one of them two were to win. Luckily, neither of them are likely to come out the victor in the long run given the fact that the Russian fighter Povetkin is expected to win the box-off. However, that opens up a problem as well, considering that he has only 13 fights under his belt, and is not ready to face a fighter as skilled, and as large as Klitschko at this point in his career.
Indeed, it’s a good way of destroying him before he’s ready to take that significant of a leap up in competition. Wladimir, however, is all in favor – for obvious reasons – of the box-off, probably because he sees it as a chance to get an easy win over one of his mandatories. Missing, however, from the box-off is Hasim Rahman and Sergei Liakhovich, both of which I consider better than any of the four fighters in the tournament. It’s unclear why they were left out, but perhaps there was a good reason.