With Hopkins Taylor occupying most of the boxing media’s focus as of late, I thought it would be a good idea to just go ahead and tee off on some topics lost in the hustle and bustle of the ongoing hoopla surrounding the middleweight title bout. In this edition of Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving I will touch on the court case involving the mandatory challenger spot for the IBF heavyweight crown, Kassim Ouma’s shocking defeat, junior lightweight prospect Jason Litzau, the newly appointed US Federal Boxing Commission, the WBC’s hypocrisy, Vitali Klitschko and more.
Davarryl Williamson-Wladimir Klitschko 2: Or sort of. The rematch took place in the courtroom rather than the ring with Williamson getting the decision this time around. That’s right fight fans. By losing a close fight with Wlad and beating up a couple of washed up no names, ‘Touch of Sleep’ has earned the right to wait for Chris Byrd to commit, back out, complain about money, and finally sign on to fight him. Congratulations Davarryl, you’ve earned it, I guess.
Do not lose sleep over this decision if you are not a Williamson fan. I’m sure if Byrd dispatches of him the IBF will mandate Oleg Maskaev, Kevin McBride, Audley Harrison, or Sinan Samil Sam. I hate to step on any toes (okay that is a lie, I love to stir the pot) but the sanctioning bodies’ ratings system not only a joke, but a disgrace to the sport of boxing itself.
Undefeated prospect Jason Litzau: We share the same home state but that does not mean Litzau will get any special treatment in R and R. There are not a lot of negative things you can say about Litzau though. He hits very hard, is a good finisher, is really, really hungry, and is staying quite active.
Here is the bad news. Litzau is young, still in his 20’s, and is not ready for a real contender yet. He leaves himself open more and more depending on how aggressive he gets and could use some polish on his overall boxing technique. Like I said he is young and should be given time to develop. Do not stick him in there with a good contender quite yet, but in a few years this kid could be something very special if groomed properly.
The US boxing commission: This is in some ways good, in some ways bad. The good news is boxing will be under a watchful eye. That eye will give licenses to boxers after they undergo more elaborate medical tests, license sanctioning organizations, and create rankings and guidelines. Sounds good, right? Well now consider that that watchful eye is the US government! If you want to take lessons in organizational skills and management, our governing body is nowhere to look to right now. The US congress has looked a lot like four ABC organizations trying to work together to agree on one champ. They cannot do it! Hopefully the organization will not be run in the same manner that business is conducted on Capitol Hill.
Kassim Ouma: Was anyone else completely shocked to see this kid lose Thursday night? Not just the fact that he lost, but how he lost! Some insiders were claiming that Ouma had been vomiting in training, and if that is the case then I give the guy credit for keeping his promise, fulfilling his obligation and fighting.
It sucks that a guy as talented and gifted as Kassim will have to lose his IBF title and suffer an unwanted blemish on his record. But there is something to be said for a guy fighting 12 rounds in a championship level fight all the while being possibly sick with a stomach bug. If Kassim Ouma can maintain some confidence and get back in action quickly, he should have no problem overcoming this small stumble on his journey to greatness. Side note though, this kind of screws up any hope anyone had of Winky Wright taking on the kid anytime soon, huh?
Why is Vitali not stripped?: Vitali Klitschko has been trying to side step his mandatory defense in order to fight Calvin Brock in September instead of Hasim Rahman or Monte Barrett. Okay I have officially had enough of this guy. I was on the bandwagon after his brave battle with Lennox Lewis but it is time to wake up. That guy was a fraud and a one time thing. The real Vitali Klitschko quit on his stool against Chris Byrd and fought Kirk Johnson, Corrie Sanders, and Danny-freaking-Williams and now wants to be taken seriously as a champion when he won’t even fight Hasim Rahman? Get real.
Vitali is not the one I take the most objections with. I save that honor for the WBC the Worst Boxing Council. Correct me if I am wrong but if the champion does not meet his mandatory within the timeframe given does the champ not then forfeit his title to the interim champion? If this organization will take Antonio Tarver’s belt from him because he wants to fight the best in his division, they should surely take it from Klitschko for mentioning title defense and Oleg Maskaev in the same sentence and then showing blatant disregard for the fans and the crown by signing on to fight Brock. They had better make him either fight Rahman or strip him.
Brock is a good young fighter but he must wait his turn. Barrett and Rahman are both more deserving from an experience standpoint for a title shot right now. As for Klitschko, he had the biggest opportunity to become a big deal, and threw it away and embraced the old ‘Quitchko’ moniker he has been dogged with for years. I have no sympathy and very little respect left for this guy or the WBC. Bring on the next generation of big men before this crop of champions stain the game for longer than just these wretched couple of years.
And finally this time I part with James Butler: First of all, what happened to Sam Kellerman is something one would not wish on any other human being and it is a damn shame to have a life end that way regardless of what your name is. If there is any sense of justice left in this world, James Butler will spend the rest of his life behind bars doing the most unimaginable things, or worse.
R.I.P. Julian Letterlough.
Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving, Edition 1
Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving, Edition 2
Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving, Edition 3
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