By Mike Casile (PBR)
Imagine, if you would an incredible phenomenon. It is something we have not seen, heard or felt, in quite sometime. Imagine “real” interest in the Heavyweight division. Boxing, just like life, is all about timing. Good matches usually become great matches, due to timing and opportunity. Right now Oleg Maskaev, the newly crowned WBC Heavyweight Champion, is in a very unique position. His Cinderella story has generated interest in a division that has been almost forgotten on the world stage completely. He has caught lightning in a bottle, and although he is the Champion, holding the cards now, I do not think he should play “go fish” when it comes to choosing his next opponent.
Shelly Finkel, Vladimir Klitchco’s manager, is pushing hard for a match this year, but Maskaev’s people seem hesitant to take the match, for reasons more obvious than not. Maskaev has earned his discretion, but the cold truth of the heavyweight division, is that there are not a lot of fights, that people want to see, and even less fights they will even consider forking out $49.95 for. If the Klitschko camp, and the Maskaev camp are as smart as we all think they might be, they will make this fight happen. This fight will absolutely “not” go the distance, and their most certainly will be a rematch. The Heavyweight division needs a shot in the arm right now, and these two punchers can provide that. You can count me among the millions, which would rather watch The Walton’s reunion show, than watch Nikolay Valuev, fight Monte Barrett. The Sam Peter, James Toney fight may have more teeth, but they are small familiar teeth, that bite about as hard as an angry puppy. For some strange reason, Toney keeps getting a shot, I can’t explain it, only to say, his mouth is bigger than his punch, and maybe his obvious bipolar personality, will sell a few seats. Oleg deserves a rest, and congratulations, but he needs to make a stand as champion. His promoter, Dennis Rappaport, told me, point blank, Oleg will not fight Klitchko this year. He also hinted to an injury. I like Dennis very much, but with the PPV numbers that Maskaev’s last fight received, he may be fighting on public access next year.