Klitschko eyes Maskaev

Klitschko eyes Maskaev

LAS VEGAS – New World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev has been pitched a unification showdown with rival ring king Wladimir Klitschko as a new era dawns for the struggling division.

Maskaev stopped Hasim Rahman in the final minute of the 12th round to dethrone the American and put the four major heavyweight thrones in the hands of fighters born in former Soviet Union nations. Klitschko owns the International Boxing Federation title.Russia’s Nicolay Valuev is the World Boxing Association champion and Sergei Liakhovich of Belarus has the lesser-regarded World Boxing Organisation crown.Just because no American has a heavyweight crown – a shattering break from the legacy of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson – does not mean there is no interest in seeing how the new champions handle their success.Shelly Finkel, Klitschko’s manager, has spoken with Maskaev’s camp about a November 11 fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden.Klitschko had looked at a defence against US veteran Shannon Briggs but wants Maskaev now.”I’ve offered him a deal and now it’s up to him,” Finkel said.”But I have to have an answer quickly.We need to move forward.He and his people have to understand that they’re not going to get a better deal to fight anyone else.”Maskaev, 33-5 with 26 stoppages inside the distance, right instead decide to wait.He had said he hurt his back in training and injured his right thumb in the fight.Russian giant Valuev is scheduled to defend his crown on October 7 against US boxer Montre Barrett, who has not fought since a loss to Rahman a year ago.Nampa-AFPKlitschko owns the International Boxing Federation title.Russia’s Nicolay Valuev is the World Boxing Association champion and Sergei Liakhovich of Belarus has the lesser-regarded World Boxing Organisation crown.Just because no American has a heavyweight crown – a shattering break from the legacy of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson – does not mean there is no interest in seeing how the new champions handle their success.Shelly Finkel, Klitschko’s manager, has spoken with Maskaev’s camp about a November 11 fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden.Klitschko had looked at a defence against US veteran Shannon Briggs but wants Maskaev now.”I’ve offered him a deal and now it’s up to him,” Finkel said.”But I have to have an answer quickly.We need to move forward.He and his people have to understand that they’re not going to get a better deal to fight anyone else.”Maskaev, 33-5 with 26 stoppages inside the distance, right instead decide to wait.He had said he hurt his back in training and injured his right thumb in the fight.Russian giant Valuev is scheduled to defend his crown on October 7 against US boxer Montre Barrett, who has not fought since a loss to Rahman a year ago.Nampa-AFP

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