Maskaev and Klitschko talk unification at Madison Square Garden

Fresh off his last minute stoppage of Hasim Rahman over the weekend at the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, the new WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev has been approached by IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and offered a Nov. 11 fight at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

According to Agence France Presse, Klitschko’s manager Shelly Finkel has spoken with Maskaev’s camp. I’ve offered him a deal and now it’s up to him. But I have to have an answer quickly, Finkel said. 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.

They reason they have to answer quickly and move forward is because Klitschko’s got the Garden date all sewn up, for a fight against Shannon Briggs. But now Klitschko’s decided he’d rather not fight the dreadlocked veteran Brooklynite and would rather go after Maskaev, the newly crowned champ from Staten Island by way of Kazakhstan, in a long awaited (not by Big O but by everybody else) heavyweight unification bout.

There are contract issues, timeframes, buyout clauses, all the dull legal minutiae that need attending, and the bout sounds almost too good to be true, so until we see Klitschko and Maskaev trading leather at MSG, we’ll hedge our bets and just play wait and see.