Klitschko vs. Ibragimov: Finally a bit of clarity, well maybe? - Boxing
By Benny Henderson Jr (Feb 21, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © HBO) 
A division that has been marred, muddled and pretty much messed up in recent years finally gets a shot at clarity this weekend as heavyweight titleholders Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov face off in New York’s Madison Square Garden on HBO 9:30 PM ET/6:30 PM PT, in the first title unification bout since Lewis vs. Holyfield in 1999.

Wladimir Klitschko 49-3 (44) who holds the IBF/IBO portions of the big boy belts takes on the undefeated WBO title holder Sultan Ibragimov 22-0-1 (17) in what could be a compelling twelve round heavyweight clash for unification,
clarification and any other word that ends with fication you can think of.

Klitschko, a two time heavyweight title holder who was once on the brink of extinction in the division has banged out seven consecutive victories since dropping his last loss in April of 2004 to American heavyweight Lamon Brewster.

Since that loss, which was Klitschko’s third defeat via knock out, the towering Ukrainian has earned a unanimous decision win over Samuel Peter and has knocked out six of his opponents that include Chris Byrd (TKO 7), Calvin Brock (TKO 7) and most recently beat into submission his former conqueror Lamon Brewster in six rounds. Thus far Klitschko looks to be top candidate for any unity in the division, but one man stands in his way.

Sultan Ibragimov, who holds the WBO side of the stick looks to continue his winning ways as well as seeking an upset come Saturday night against the much bigger stronger Klitschko.

Ibragimov has had ample success in his time as a professional. The southpaw who hails from Russia has pounded out victories over Lance Whitaker (TKO 7), Shannon Briggs (UD 12) and just recently swept the scorecards over an old Evander Holyfield.

The only blemish, which honestly is not much of one, was a controversial draw against Ray Austin in the summer of 2006. Now in the biggest fight of his career Ibragimov looks to roll on with the W’s, but Sultan has a major road block ahead of his way to any more title dreams.

As far as a winner goes, if I were a betting man I would have my money on Klitschko, despite the ones who have come to me chatting up Klitschko versus a southpaw equals defeat, I offer up his resume. Despite being blown out by Corrie Sanders nearly five years ago, Klitschko has defeated nearly a handful of lefties in his career, and this is a different Wladimir than before, as I have said in the past a confident Klitschko is a dangerous one, and he is wearing it like cologne.

Despite who raises their hands in victory this weekend, the most important aspect of this bout is unification, and hopefully it will lead to a unified champion. But again if I were a betting man I would put my money on the other sanctioning bodies, which in some way somehow will have their say so and demand mandatory’s, throw this in strip this out take a little here add a little there and before you know it, it will be another nine years before we see yet again another unification bout. There goes the clarity!




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