The return of giant Ukrainian Vitaly Klitschko caused something of a rumpus in boxing circles this week, fresh from Samuel Peter’s emergence as a contender from the ranks of pretenders it would seem the WBC, the over-valued leader of the sanctioning bodies and one of the sport’s biggest problems, reinstated the former champion as mandatory challenger to Oleg Maskaev. Himself of Soviet birth and clearly, at the age of 75, looking for the biggest pay-day his belated ascension to the heavyweight throne can garner him.
Nigerian Samuel Peter, having beaten James Toney in a mandated rematch must wonder what he must do to finally satisfy the WBC’s ever changing demands. Clearly capable of knocking out the game champion, as most of the division believe themselves to be, Peter is once again thwarted on the final rung of the ladder. This isn’t to demean the pretensions of the returning Champion Emeritus, which I thought was Arsenal’s new football ground, but Klitschko should surely be forced to prove his status once more – particularly given the supposedly career ending knee injury that preceded his short-lived retirement.
Just when you thought the sport, and particularly Jose Suliman, a man so devoid of principle I refuse to pay him the respect of checking I’ve spelt his name correctly, couldn’t sink lower or find any new ways to undermine the last ounce of credibility the sports holds – they, and he, do.
Welcome back Vitaly, a genial and gracious servant to the sport. But a mediocre one.