Vitali Klitschko wants bouts with Haye and Valuev in 2010
By Sean McDaniel: World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (39-2, 37 KO’s) has big goals in 2010, and wants fights against WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and former WBA title holder Russian Nikolay Valuev, according to news from the Ukrainian site NRCU. However, Vitali, 38, sees the fight with Valuev as the the more realistic option in 2010, because Haye has a fight with John Ruiz, his mandatory challenger, in the first part of the year. Vitali may have problems getting a fight with Valuev if the 7-foot heavyweight fights a rematch with Haye.
Valuev lost his WBA title to Haye on November 7th, in a 12 round majority decision loss. However, Valuev had a rematch clause in his contract with Haye, which will allow him to fight Haye again. Haye could give Valuev a step aside fee so that Haye could fight Vitali, but that’s not likely to happen. Valuev is a much safer fight for Haye then a fight with Vitali, who Haye probably has very little chance of beating at this point. Haye controlled most of his fight with Value by punching and running the entire fight. Haye can probably do the same thing in a rematch unless Valuev figures out a way to stop Haye from getting away with these tactics.
Vitali recently dominated American Kevin Johnson by a lopsided 12 round decision on December 12th. Johnson looked to be in a full survival mode from the opening seconds of the fight and stayed on the ropes the entire bout with his head leaning far over the ring ropes into the crowd area. It worked for Johnson to keep from becoming another one of Klitschko’s knockout victims, but it cause Johnson to lose every round of the fight and blow his chance at winning a title.
If fights with Valuev and Haye don’t happen, then Klitschko may have to settle for one of the top heavyweight contenders like unbeaten Odlanier Solis. The former 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist for Cuba is unbeaten at 15-0 with 11 knockouts and has very fast hands. However, at 6’1 270, Solis would figure to be too short and too fat to beat the towering 6’7″ 250 pound Klitschko. However, Solis would probably make it interesting for as long as it lasts, because he’s not shy about throwing punches and will be coming at Vitali looking to make a fight of it.
Beyond Solis, there’s Ray Austin, the number # 1 contender for Klitschko. A fight against the 6’6″ Austin isn’t an appealing option, because he was already stopped by Wladimir Klitschko in the 2nd round two years ago in March.
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