Boxing: Klitschko faces serious test
Saturday 20 June 2009
It has been an unprecedented six weeks in boxing with four big fights being scrapped and Ruslan Chagaev will benefit from the chaos when he fights Wladimir Klitschko for a trio of heavyweight belts in front of 60,000 tonight at the Veltins Arena, here in Gelsenkirchen.
Klitschko was due to fight David Haye tonight and at the end of May, Chagaev was just 22 hours away from fighting Nikolay Valuev before blood tests, bad backs, bad luck and desperate negotiating took over.
Haye withdrew with a pain in his back, Chagaev failed a final medical in Helsinki and the lawyers and TV executives went furiously to work to bring the two German-based boxers together. Chagaev had been the World Boxing Association champion but injured his Achilles last year when preparing to fight Valuev, who he had beaten to win the title in 2007.
It now seems that the WBA has made Valuev their champion, leaving Chagaev to fight Klitschko at just 13 days notice for the World Boxing Organisation, International Boxing Federation and International Boxing Organisation titles. Haye, whose back is now better, will be ringside to claim a fight with the winner, but he could be kept waiting for a long, long time.
Klitschko, as usual will be taller (5 inches) and heavier (nearly two stone), but is unlikely to find Chagaev quite as passive as his last five American challengers. Chagaev, who is unbeaten in 26 fights, has a real chance of winning.
He has to trundle forward using his lack of height to his advantage, much the same way that Mike Tyson once did, and somehow force Klitschko, who admits that he puts safety before entertainment, to fight and commit with punches. Klitschko will probably survive to sneak a tight win.
Latest in Sport
Commonwealth Games 2014 Opening Ceremony: Ewan McGregor launches Unicef charity fundraiser, making £2.5m in one night
Arsenal transfer news: Atletico Madrid closing in on Santi Cazorla deal - reports
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger set to cancel moves for Sami Khedira and Morgan Schneiderlin in favour of Jack Wilshere - reports
Manchester United transfer news: Arturo Vidal subject of £39m bid
Sami Khedira, Isco and Angel di Maria among Real Madrid players up for grabs this summer
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...