|Haye v Vitali will have to wait, for now|
David Haye in limbo as Klitschko fight’s confirmed
As Vitali and Wladimir confirm their respective World Heavyweight Title defences, we are still no closer to knowing the identity of David Haye’s next opponent.The WBA Heavyweight Champion 29, has only fought three times in the last 33 months and with his stance on retiring at the age of 31, doesn’t have much time left to “unify” the heavyweight division.
WBO and IBF Champion Wladimir Kltischko 34, has announced that he will fight Nigerian former WBC Title holder Samuel Peter for the second time on September 11th in Frankfurt, Germany.
Their last fight in 2005, ended in a controversial unamimous victory for the Ukrainian Champion, despite being knocked down three times by Peter, Klitschko won 114-111 on all three judges cards.
Samuel Peter then went on to win the WBC belt in 2008, knocking out Oleg Maskaev in six rounds, only to lose it in his first defence against Wladimir’s older brother, the current WBC Champion Vitali Klitschko.
Vitali is now 39 years old and it remains to be seen if the years are catching up with him, although he has knocked out or retired seven of his last eight opponents, including Albert Sosnowski in the tenth round of his latest defence last May in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
The elder Klitschko brother now faces former WBO Champion Shannon Briggs, who has knocked out his last three opponents in the first round to earn himself the opportunity to face “Dr. Steelhammer” on October 16th in Hamburg, Germany.
American Briggs 38, beat a 48 year-old George Foreman in 1997 to set up a WBC challenge against Lennox Lewis in Atlantic City in 1998. Briggs was knocked down three times though as Lewis won by TKO in the fifth round and Shannon would have to wait another eight years for another shot at the World Title.
That came in 2006 against Belarussian WBO Champion Siarhei Liakhovich who was 23-1-0 at the time and had beaten Lamon Brewster to claim the title seven months earlier.
The Champion was ahead on all three judge’s cards with 30 seconds left when Briggs produced a powerful right-left combination to back a heavy breathing Liakhovich onto the ropes, then another right hand led the Champion to fall back through the ropes and onto the scorer’s table where he was counted out.
It was one of the most amazing last-gasp victories in recent heavyweight history, with the clock timed a 2:59 in the last round and Briggs behind on all three scorecards, Briggs was crowned WBO Champion.
As for David Haye’s next opponent, there isnt too many options, Audley Harrison would get a mention but its not the fight people want to see and then a rematch with Nikolai Valuev, who Haye beat to claim the title would probably just produce the same result.
Former WBA Champion Ruslan Chagaev is the number one contender and is looking for an opponent, as is unbeaten Alexander Povetkin who is 19-0, they seem the only two solid options other than giving Audley Harrison what most people think he doesn’t deserve.
by Phil D. Jay
by Phil D. Jay