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
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...