Cold war 2.0

Boxing gloves for sale ((c) gnackgnackgnack on Flickr)

Imagine a world where Real Madrid would not play Barça all year or Panathinaikos would gently avoid Olympiacos in basketball. The absurdity of struggling to say who’s the real champ. Stop dreaming, this is already happening. Welcome to heavyweight boxing. Probably the only category where Europeans have swept all 5 major titles. Since Lennox Lewis retired, the Klitschko brothers (Vitali, 39, and especially Wladimir, 34) have monopolized the world champion belts. Only one is missing in the family. The WBA title property of UK fighter David Haye, aged 30.

For years now, all three went under a lot of criticism for facing limited opponents thus retaining their titles without taking much risk. They would still talk a lot of trash about the others being scared to fight them, Haye twice pulling out of a fight. Like in the times of the Cold war, a permanent conflict where the superpowers do not fight each other directly.

It gets more funny. So after months of negotiation where Haye added pressure saying he would retire on his 31st birthday, Wladimir Klitschko agreed on a bout on 2 July 2011. Only two weeks later, the Ukrainian fighter announced he would defend his title in April and in September as well, to the ire of Haye and his team as Klitschko could indeed get injured in the first fight which would jeopardize the July bout. Haye is now looking to fight Chagaev, his mandatory challenger… who himself lost in 2009 against Wladimir Klitschko…

According to Haye’s manager, “the Klitschko situation is dead.” Similar to the Pacquaio – Mayweather Jr situation in the super welterweights, the best fighters might never face each other. Regardless of their legacy in boxing history. Guys should listen to Janelle Monáe:

This is a cold war

Do you know what you’re fighting for?

This is a cold war

You better know what you’re fighting for.


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