By Eric Thomas: With new WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter’s (30-1, 23 KOs) recent 6th round TKO over Oleg Maskaev last Saturday night, Peter is now looking for his next opponent. He doesn’t have much choice in the matter from the looks of it, because the WBC have bestowed emeritus upon former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs), which enables him to challenge for the title without having to work his way to the top of the WBC rankings like normal fighters must do.
By Aaron Klein: Heavyweight Samuel Peter (30-1, 23 KOs) finally got his title tonight with a controversial 6th round stoppage of Oleg Maskaev (34-6, 26 KOs) to capture the WBC heavyweight title at Cancun, Mexico. Looking really sloppy and wild, Peter, as usual, threw countless rabbit punches in the first five rounds of the bout, but somehow not getting penalized for them by the referee.
The came in the sixth round when Peter let loose with a flurry of wide hooks, some of them landing to the back of Maskaev’s head, wide hooks, some of them landing to the back of Maskaev. The came in the sixth round when Peter let loose with a flurry of shots that hurt Maskaev. However, before Peter could finish him off in proper fashion, the referee stepped in and halted the bout before Peter could properly put the finishing touches on a knockout of the 39 year-old Maskaev.
It’s been three years since former World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) last fought, and with his recent cancellation of his comeback bout against Jameel McCline, I was wondering whether Vitali would have been better off staying retired. He’s had little luck in making it through training since 2004, when a number of injuries he sustained lead to him postponing a bout with then challenger Hasim Rahman on three occasions. It seems as if not much has changed since then, if his recent injury while training for McCline is any indication.
Former World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, who has now been injured causing the five consecutive delays in bouts, is now set to fight the winner of Oleg Maskaev vs Samuel Peter, a bout which takes place in February 2008. However, With Vitali’s Emeritus status (read: unearned) as a mandatory challenger, the questiuon remains whether he can stay healthy enough to ever make the bout with the winner. His back, knee and shoulder has proven to be quite fragile as his career has progressed, especially in recent years as he’s aged. Now, at 37 – make it 38 by the time he fights the winner of Maskaev-Peter – it remains questionable that he can even make out of his training camps in one piece without injuring himself badly. A large part of the blame lays with him, for he was injured in 2005 while running in cold weather in Germany.
Why Vitali, a multi-millionaire, should choose a risky cold climate to train doesn’t make much sense, especially in light of his his history of severe injuries. Whatever, the case the injuries – a torn MCL and bone bruise – made it necessary for him to retire temporarily from boxing.
Former WBC heavyweight boxing champion of the world Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) was reportedly injured yesterday while training for his bout with Jameel McCline on September 22, requiring that Vitali undergo spinal surgery at a clinic in Austria to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve in his back. This is the third back surgery for Vitali, 36, who previously had back surgery while training for Larry Donald in 2002, and then re-injuring his back in 2005 while training for title defense against challenger Hasim Rahmanm, causing Vitali to need back surgery for a second time.
In addition to this, Vitali injured his leg twice while training for bout with Rahman, making it necessary for him to have major surgery to repair a torn meniscus, a bone bruise, plus an undiagnosed MCL tear. The combination of back and knee injuries prompted Vitali to retire from boxing on November 9, 2005, having never been defeated as a world heavyweight boxing champion. During his bout with Chris Byrd, in April 1, 2000, Vitali, then the WBO heavyweight champion, suddenly quit after the 9th round, saying that his shoulder had been injured. At the time of the stoppage, Vitali was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards 89-82, and 88-83 and 88-83.
By Chet Mills III: According to Kommersant, the Russian news agency, former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis (41-2-1, 32 KOs) is interested in fighting a rematch with Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs), if the money is right, and only if Vitali can somehow win back a heavyweight title. No doubt, it’s a tall order for Klitschko, who has been out of boxing for the past two years after retiring due to numerous injuries. For the bout to happen, Vitali, now 36-years old, must beat Jameel McCline, his next opponent on August 22, 2007, in Germany. If all goes well in that bout, Vitali then faces the winner of WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev and challenger Samuel Peter.
“If I become the world champion, the leading TV channels will make that offer,” Klitschko said to Kommersant news. For Vitali to even get to the stage of fighting Lewis, however, will be a minor miracle, since he’s had a long history of sustaining injuries while training for bouts, and for him, at this age, to be able to go through three consecutive fights without breaking down would be stunning. However, who knows? If Vitali can avoid running, and at the same time take it easy while sparring, he might get lucky and make it that far. That said, beating someone as good Oleg Maskaev or Samuel Peter, both very talented fighters, would be a long shot for Vitali, given his age and two years away from boxing while in retirement.