Peter vs Klitschko: Something Stinks
By Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (Sept 24, 2008)  
The one thing that we as boxing fans have come to realize is the fact that the sport we so love is no way, in any form or fashion, fair. We have witnessed a multitude of fights go sour with bad officiating or judging, but we as fight fans have come to terms with the human mistakes that can be made in the heat of battle; after all, at some point in time in our lives we all have made bad decisions. But the one aspect of all screw ups that is a hard pill for the fans to swallow, are the ones made by the sanctioning bodies, who have had more than enough time to debate or rethink a decision before actually taking it into action.

One being this whole “Champion Emeritus” debacle that has plagued us all. It is one thing for the alphabet bandits to hand out rankings like free candy to fighters who have no right to be in the top of the crop of their respected divisions, but to enable a fighter the chance for a immediate title shot without working their way back through rankings is a bit iniquitous, especially to the ones who have actually worked their way to a top spot to only be surpassed by a former titleholder.

Case in point.

October 11th on Showtime’s championship boxing, recently crowned Samuel Peter 30-1 (23) will defend his WBC heavyweight strap against the WBC’s “Emeritus” champion Vitali Klitschko 35-2 (34) in Berlin, Germany.

Now, this is the problem that myself as well as others in the business have with this scenario. Klitschko has not seen any ring action since December of 2004, when he spanked Danny Williams in his first and only WBC heavyweight title defense.

Klitschko, who gained world wide recognition in a losing effort to Lennox Lewis in the summer of 2003, stopped his brother Wladimir’s former foe Corrie Sanders in April of 2004 to capture the vacant WBC title, then after one title defense against Williams, Klitschko was set to defend against Hasim Rahman, but after three setbacks due to nagging injuries the fight was cancelled and Klitschko retired in November of 2005, giving up his title.

Later, the WBC awarded Vitali Klitschko the whole “champion emeritus” title which entitles him to an immediate title shot if he so choose to come out of retirement, which after a big hoopla with a possible showdown against Maskaev, which was eventually scrapped, Samuel Peter took on and took out Oleg to gain his title, and now this shindig is going down.

So, are all parties in dealing with this bout happy about the upcoming bout?

No doubt, Peter will make more money fighting over in Europe than he has thus far, as well as managers promoters and all involved, you cannot blame Samuel for this title defense, and in some way you cannot blame Vitali Klitschko for accepting the bogus title the WBC offered him. I mean the bell has not rang yet and all know that he has been injury prone so if all we can get out of him is one fight he better take it.

This is my problem with it all, you are giving Klitschko a title shot without performing for one (sure he had a title way back when), but does it give a sanctioning body the right to automatically hand him a shot for his former title after the long absence?

I believe not.

We all want what is best for boxing, we all want that “One” champion, we need clarity, but there is not going to be any clarification in the heavyweight division if all the bodies can make up bogus titles.

So why give Klitschko the title?

Easy one, where is the money these days?

Europe. Look at a lot of the contenders, most are names you have never seen or heard of before, and the fans would love to have two Klitschko’s holding titles ifall possible. Could you imagine a Klitschko title double header in Germany? What money would and could be made by the advertising and television rights?

I am not here to criticize the sport that I love, but if we’re to make it better, than some serious changes need to be made, what changes? Really cannot say, but I know what is fair and what is not.

Will I watch the fight? Sure I will, I am a sucker for the heavyweights, but again fair is fair and I don’t see this being fair; it is not only unfair to the ones who honestly deserve a title shot, but it is unfair to the fans and fight game in general.

You can coat a turd with sugar and call it candy all you want, but it is still a turd, and the reasoning for this fight stinks to me.

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