Ever since I suggested Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko should fight each other for the unified heavyweight championship of the world, I’ve been beseiged with EMails, Tweets, phone calls and guys in the gym calling me a heartless SOB….
The tone of most people is “They’re brothers and they love each other; how dare you suggest they fight?”….
Yes they’re brothers and love each other, but they are in the hurt business of boxing; and the sport needs a big heavyweight showdown…
I know this sounds cold, but if I were the Commissioner of Boxing I would issue the following ultimatum to the Klitschkos: “As the two best heavyweights in the world and holders of all the major belts, you have 30 days to sign a contract to fight each other for the undisputed championship. Failure to do so will result in removal of all recognition as heavyweight champions.”….
Nobody is saying the Klitschkos have to fight each other, and they have every right to refuse. But if they don’t they get stripped of their belts and we find two other fighters to fight for the vacant title….
To me it’s irrelevant that they’re brothers; they are by far the two best heavyweights in the world, monopolize all the belts and a championship fight is in order….
In what other sport would two siblings refusing to compete against each other be tolerated? They would be suspended, fined and severly punished….
Can you imagine the Williams sisters refusing to play for the U.S. Open Championship?….
How about the Manning brothers declining to take the field because they’re brothers and love each other?….
What do you think would happen if the Lopez twins stayed in the locker room and refused to play against each other in an NBA game?….
How about the Barber brothers refusing to block and tackle each other, out of family loyalty?….
You know what would happen in any of these scenarios. All of them would face stiff discipline from their leagues and criticism from the media and fans….
So why is it any different in boxing?….
Yes, I know boxing is different from most sports in that the object is to deliver punishment to your opponent; but to that I have this reply….
Football is much more dangerous and violent than boxing; especially the way the Klitschkos fight. Every play is similar to a car accident, with vicious collisions happening on every down….
You have huge, fast men running full speed on every play; coming from every angle to take your head off….
Give me a boxing ring any day over an NFL field….
So if Ronde and Tiki Barber, among other NFL players, are okay with hitting each other at full speed; than I see no reason the Klitschkos can’t decide the heavyweight championship….
They knew boxing was a dangerous sport when they began and it’s best when the best fight each other. And there is no doubt the Klitschkos are far and away the best heavyweights in the world….
Boxing is a sport just like football, basketball, baseball and others. It takes discipline, training and talent to be the best and you know going in you’re going to face great opposition; whether you’re related or not….
Boxing is not a street fight; it’s tactical, strategic and it takes brains to win. If you lose your temper in the ring or lack discipline, you’re not going to get very far….
How is that different from other sports?….
So the bottom line is this: The Klitschkos hold all the belts and should be forced to fight each other if they want to keep them. It’s what’s best for boxing and best for the fans….