The WBC Heavyweight Conondrum
After having some time to assess the situation following Vitali Klitschko’s decision to vacate the WBC world heavyweight title I felt it only right to voice my unease.
Looking at the WBC rankings it would appear as though Canadian Bermane Stiverne and American Chris Arreola are to square off for the vacant title. Stiverne aged 35 holds a record of 23 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw. He had been set to face off with Vitali for the title but his plans were put on hold due to injury on the part of Vitali.
Arreola aged 32 has a record of 31 wins and 3 losses and has been in with the likes of Vitali Klitschko back in 2009 Tomasz Adamked in 2010. Both times he came up short and would appear to be a decent boxer but not someone who could be regarded as real world champion material. The same can probably be said of Stiverne.
I have a major issue with the WBC rankings. If you look at the top 10 you have Stiverne, Arreola, Wilder, Jennings, Perez, Chisora, Charr, Fury, Adamek and Solis. There are only a couple of fighters on this list who are even worth of a world title shot.
Personally I don’t believe that Arreola is deserving at a shot at all. He has already lost to Stiverne in April of 2013 and has had his chances at the top. He is a tough boxer who can take a shot well but a victory over Seth Mitchell surely doesn’t merit a shot at world title.
I am also extremely aggrieved at Deontay Wilder’s position at number 3 in the rankings. Wilder has good potential and ferocious power but he is yet to beat anyone of note and could be in for title shot in the very near future. That is ridiculous to me. He has knocked out a lot of bums and has somehow got his name into contention for a title shot. Wilder is yet to prove that he is a world class boxer and doesn’t deserve such an opportunity at the moment well at least not in my mid.
The only fighters out there other than Wladimir Klitschko who are worthy of a world title shot are Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury. Chisora put up a really good performance in his shot against the previous champ Vitali Klitschko when they squared off in 2012 and earned my respect as a boxer that night. He is a tough boxer with a very good chin and puts his opponents under great pressure throughout the fight. He has recently impressed with victories over the likes of Malik Scott and Edmund Gerber and appears to be a man who has finally matured and knuckled down in the sport.
Tyson Fury is a man who hasn’t been as active as he would have liked in recent months due to a couple of cancelled fights with David Haye. This would have been a fantastic fight and would have given Fury the chance to show if he was a top level fighter or not. For me he has beaten a more impressive list of opponents in his career than the likes of Arreola and Stiverne and is more deserving of a title shot. The unbeaten, 25 year old Kevin Johnson and Steve Cunningham in his last two fights and has never had a shot at a world title yet.
There are talks of a rematch between Chisora and Fury taking place this year at some point and it would make fascinating viewing but personally I think that the fight deserves a major title on the line. I believe that both fighters should be in the reckoning to fight for the WBC belt as they are more deserving of a shot than either Arreola or Wilder. Sadly I see the Stiverne v Arreola bout taking place for the title and then the winner deciding to defend the belt against Wilder.
If Wilder was to then win the title it is realistic to speculate that he may fight either Fury or Chisora but it seems unfair to me that either should have to wait until then for a chance at the title.
The heavyweight scene is a one which is on the up with the likes of Fury, Chisora and Wilder bringing excitement and looking to the future Anthony Joshua seems to be a great, young prospect. I still feel that Britain’s David Price has a role to play in the shake-up of the heavyweight division despite his 2 losses to Tony Thompson but it may take some time to get back up there. The problem is that the Klitschko’s have been so dominant and there has been a real lack of talent to challenge them. Now that Vitali appears to be out of the equation Wladimir is clearly top of the pile but below him a few boxers are starting to make a name for themselves.
I am excited about the future of this division and am certain that some of the good days can be brought back to the glory division in the coming years, I just find myself extremely frustrated that fighters who for my money are undeserving of a title shot are getting an opportunity which others decide more.
Unfortunately that is the way that boxing has become over the years but I am confident that the likes of Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora will get the chance that they deserve soon.
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