Klitschko/Maskaev: Qué Pasa, José?

BY Robert Ecksel ON December 17, 2006
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Klitschko/Maskaev unification bout in Señor Sulaiman’s hands

For those lost souls who thought a heavyweight unification bout was not only a welcome prospect but an inevitable one, it may be time to think again.

Jose Sulaiman Despite the talk of IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko getting it on with WBC champion Oleg Maskaev to once and for all begin unifying the heavyweight division, there appears to be a one small obstacle standing in the way of the fight coming off, and that obstacle’s name is José Sulaiman.

Of course Sulaiman, for those who have been living in a snow cave or underwater the last few decades, is the grand poobah of the WBC, which is just one of several sanctioning bodies that feed off the boxing and perpetuate hoax upon hoax on those who respect boxers and love the sport.

According to Kevin Iole in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “The fight won't proceed without the blessing of WBC president Jose Sulaiman,� who in that well crafted sentence sounds a little too much like the pope for us skeptics and nonbelievers.

Klitschko’s manager, Shelley Finkel, spoke with Iole and said he doubts Sulaiman is likely to be swayed by something as persuasive as reason.

"You know how these organizations work," said Finkel. "We're not getting any closer to closure, and even though Wladimir wants the fight and Oleg wants the fight and the public wants the fight, the one person who has to say yes,� aka Sulaiman, whose relationship with Don King—the promoter whose vested interests include Sam Peter, Nicolai Valuev and Shannon Briggs—clouds all issues concerning the heavyweight divison, “isn't sounding too positive. He said he'd think about it, but he's afraid he'd get sued,� by whom is not stated, “and he doesn't want to go through that, and, honestly, I'm just not that optimistic."

Dennis Rappaport, Maskaev’s promoter, by contrast was ever so slightly more hopeful—he described himself as “guardedly optimisticâ€?—than the clearly frustrated Finkel, because, he said, "such a fight would be for the betterment of the sport," words that might not be the sweetest night music to the ears of Señor Sulaiman. Read more at the BLOG 

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