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On July 2nd 2011 Wladimir Klitschko won the WBA heavyweight title From Britain’s David Haye and added the belt to his collection of IBF and WBO honors. With this win Wladimir (56-3  49KOs) and his brother unified the division in style and they now hold all the major boxing belts at Heavyweight. This has long been the Klitschko brother’s dream.

Even though Wladimir, along with his brother, has accomplished his longtime goals, he still wants to fight on and he has promised to defend his belts later this year. I’m going to look at some potential opponents for him.

A Wladimir Klitschko - David Haye Rematch
 Despite being the clear loser in their match in July Haye (25-2  23KOs) insists that he could have performed better if it wasn’t for his broken his toe, which he said made it harder for him to land his trademark Haymaker on Wladimir’s face. According to Haye, he broke his toe in training and it prevented him pushing off on his right leg during the fight. Without his injury, he feels it would have been a very different fight. This is doubtful, but still possible. However, in my opinion (and the opinion on most spectators) Haye hasn’t earned himself a second chance.

Firstly, he was disrespectful in the build up to the fight when he said that Wladimir sounds like comedy character Borat. This kind of trashtalk has become the norm in pre-fight build up but when you see the calm, polite demeanor of Wladimir, mocking him just doesn’t seem right. Haye’s attitude has made it so Wladimir will not feel like he owes the London-born star anything.  Don’t expect him to throw a rematch Haye’s way through a sense of obligation.

Following his loss, Haye doesn’t hold a major heavyweight boxing belt anymore so in that sense he doesn’t bring anything to the table. On the other hand, he does bring big money with him, especially if the commercial success of the second bout went anywhere near matching that of the first. Imagine if the fight was held in England – the pair of them would be rich for the next century or so. To back-up his rematch case, Haye stated that there is no-one else out there for Wlad to fight. Is he right? Read on and we will see.

Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury
Three weeks after Wlad’s masterful performance against David Haye, fellow Brit Tyson Fury (15-0  10KOs) also put in a good performance against an overweight Dereck Chisora at the Wembley arena, London. It nearly didn’t happen though. Before the Fury-Chisora fight was announced and before Wladimir set a unification date with Haye, Wlad was scheduled to defend his belts against a then 14-0 Dereck Chisora.  

The two were set to meet in late 2010 but Wladimir had to pull out due to a teared muscle in his abdomen. Their bout was rescheduled for April 2011 but again the 6ft5” Champion pulled out, this time due to complications from his earlier injury. Instead of a fighter with the IBF, WBO and The Ring heavyweight world champion, Chisora had to settle for a fight with fellow prospect Tyson Fury.

Nevertheless, Klitschko still felt that he owed Chisora a fight. He also said he would like to take away a young fighters unbeaten record, so a fight with the winner of the Fury-Chisora bout appeals to him. Fury, however, has other plans. In the Chisora post-fight interview he said that he wants to take a slower road to being a world champion and is currently concentrating on the Irish heavyweight belts.

It appears Emmanuel Steward (Klitschko’s trainer) has had a say in this. Steward is interested in working with Tyson Fury and has stated that he will never train any fighter to beat Wladimir. It is possible he has told Wladimir to look elsewhere for a fight so he can continue in working with prospect Fury. If the two were to fight later on in the year it would be an interesting match, but at present Fury needs more bouts to gain experience and allow himself to fully develop. Right now, Wladimir should look for a more dangerous opponent.   

Wladimir Klitschko vs Vitali Klitschko
A final option is for both of the Klitschko brothers to fight each other so that there is a unified champion in the Heavyweight division. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is the biggest fight in boxing to be made right now, but if the brothers suddenly had an argument (over who has the best jab) then their good relationship could disappear. A Vitali – Wladimir fight would easily give the Mayweather -Pacquiao fight a run for its money.

The odds of this ever happening are about as good as David Haye beating Wlad without his big toe. But it would be one hell of a fight and for me the only difference between the brothers is the fact that Vitali (42-2  39KOs) has the better chin. They both have similar styles so Vitali would know how to get past the jab of Wladimir and at some point in their hypothetical fight Vitali would land clean on Wladimir’s face. Wladimir would fall to the canvas and the older Klitschko brother would become the fully unified Heavyweight champion.

 “We made a promise to our mother” (bit selfish)

So the three options above are not likely to happen. Wladimir will most probably take a different  route and fight someone who is past their best or nowhere near ready for him, but he is not to blame for the state of the division. My opinion is that Wlad should rematch Haye because the British heavyweight  is the only fighter who could make Wlad work harder than usual and provide great pre-fight entertainment,  even if he didn’t live up to expectations last time round. That said, It looks like it is too little too late for Haye. Wlad will look somewhere else for an opponent.

Written by Jake Wallwork