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Heavyweights: Answers, or Just More Questions?
Rick Caldwell (April 13, 2004) 
I can’t remember a time there was four heavyweight title fights in one month, and to say that the result of the first was a surprise would be a drastic understatement. It leads me to ponder the question: will these four championship fights finally give us the answers we are looking for, or just more questions?

As far as the first of the four fights goes, it definitely gave us more questions than answers. If Brewster didn’t have the power to KO the glass jawed Clifford Etienne, how on earth did he KO Wladimir Klitschko? Is Wlad’s chin that bad, or did Lamon just get lucky? Did he get lucky, or did he just have an off day against Etienne? If Wlad’s chin is as bad as it looked, why did it take this long to expose? After being semi-retired, Sanders dropped Klitschko, and because of that was vaulted into the top ten, and now has a shot to fight for the titles Lennox Lewis left behind.

Will Brewster get this same respect? I don’t have the answers to these questions yet, but I would like to make a prediction. I’m hoping I’m the first to get this printed. This is the perfect fight for Joe Mesi. Not only is it good for Mesi, Brewster would benefit from it also. If Mesi can pull it out a win, his marketability would be unparalleled. I’m not going to insult your intelligence by explaining why. A month ago, a fight between Mesi and Brewster would have been a pretty good fight on HBO. With the title involved, it could potentially be a huge PPV event. Brewster would make a ton of money in this fight, and if he’s the guy to take out Joe Mesi, once again more money for Brewster.

Now onto fights three and four. If Byrd can’t beat a washed up Andrew Golata, he needs to open up a restaurant or something. After a less than lovely performance against Oquendo, if he doesn’t dominate “the foul pole”, he will lose all legitimacy as a heavyweight. No matter the result, I’m praying that this double title fight is phase one of King’s master plan to unify these two titles. Oquendo has the stuff to beat Ruiz, and if he does, it sets up an interesting return bout with Byrd. If Ruiz wins, it sets up a brawler vs. boxer match up. No matter which two end up victorious this weekend, a fight between the two winners would probably bore us all to death because of the poor style match up, but I’m all for unifying the WBA and IBF titles. These four guys lack marketability. There’s no doubt about that, but any heavyweight unification bout would be sure to drum up public interest.

The only thing that would make a unification bout more interesting is if the winner of Vitali Klitschko and Corrie Sanders is commentating along with Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant. Let’s get one thing straight: Vitali is not Wladimir. He took a bunch of bombs from Lennox Lewis, and was never wobbled. Sanders will not be able to easily dent his chin, and it’s going to take more than six minutes of fury to defeat Vitali. Vitali looked very hungry against Kirk Johnson, and Sanders has once again taken way too much time between fights. Sanders has great skills, but does he have enough to stop the momentum of the very hungry, and very strong Vitali Klitschko? I doubt it. The only thing that may hurt Vitali is that he was trained by Manny Steward right along with Wlad. I’m not implying that Manny had anything at all to do with Wlad losing. What I mean by that is that Vitali was training right along with Wlad, and Wlad’s fight was two weeks before his. I hope he didn’t hit his peak two weeks before his fight with Sanders. If he shows up overtrained, he could be in for a tough night against the hard hitting southpaw.
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