Klitschko Calls it Quits After Fourth Postponement
By Tom Dickey (November 10, 2005)
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Just days after his scheduled November 12th title defense against Hasim Rahman was postponed for a fourth time, Vitali Klitschko, fed up with nagging injuries decided to retire. Klitschko stated that it seems he has been battling injuries more than he has other boxers of late. A thigh injury postponed the first fight, then it was a back injury. Rahman then took a fight with Monte Barrett. Now it's a knee injury, that required arthroscopic surgery that would keep Vitali out for six months.

The WBC stated that if Klitschko could not fight in 90 days, then the belt would be given to Rahman. So, it looks like 'The Rock' will become the new champ, unless they make him fight someone for the vacant title. Klitschko becomes only the fourth heavyweight champ to retire with the belt. Lennox Lewis did it most recently, and before that you have to go back to the 1950s and Rocky Marciano. The first heavyweight to ever do this was Gene Tunney.

Now the question arises: What does this mean for the heavyweight division? Well for one, it looks like the champs will be Rahman, Byrd, and Ruiz. The division becomes even more wide open, and maybe the chance for unification just got better. It also seems the division is up for grabs like never before. You might even see guys coming out of retirement thinking they have a shot at the title. I can see it now, George Foreman returns to try to grab the title. Larry Holmes quits his singing gig on VH1 and returns to the ring and tries to take the wide open division. This will probably lead to Evander Holyfield staying around even longer.

Not that it has become even more doubtful who the true heavyweight champion is, hopefully plans for unification will become less complicated. Most of the other champs complained that Klitschko was the reason for the division not unifying. So, with Klitschko retired, no more excuses, right? Let's hope, because as weak as the division is at the present time, we need some sort of order. It's time for guys like Byrd, Ruiz, or Rahman to step up and unify this thing, no more excuses (Antonio Tarver would be proud).

With Klitschko gone, the marquee heavyweight match ups are gone with him, so the way to garner some attention would be to unify, and not mess around in doing so. Let's have a Heavyweight champion, not four different champs. Something's got to be done, because the top meal ticket in the division just retired.

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