By Joseph Mathew
On July 2nd, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko unified three of the four major belts with his one-sided decision victory over WBA champ David Haye. The fourth belt, the WBC title, is held by Wladimir’s brother Vitali Klitschko; therefore, the Klitschko brothers hold all the major heavyweight belts.
Also, Wladimir become the first heavyweight to hold at least three of the four major belts since Lennox Lewis unified the WBC, WBA and IBF belts with his win over Evander Holyfield in 1999.
Next, Vitali will defend his WBC belt against Tomasz Adamek on September 10 in Poland. Most believe that Klitschko will retain his belt. On the other hand, Adamek has always been one of the toughest names in the sport and should make for a competitive battle.
Other than the Klitschko brothers along with Tomasz Adamek, the rest of the names appear to be victims of the Klitschko brothers or prospects who are still looking to earn their shot at a world title.
Let’s take a look at today’s top ten heavyweights as ranked by the KOnews.net staff.
1. Wladimir Klitschko – The most anticipated heavyweight bout in years was only hype as David Haye showed little fight in challenging “Dr. Steelhammer” in a unification of the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts. Next for Wladimir, the division’s king has expressed interest in facing Dereck Chisora.
2. Vitali Klitschko – Last March, Vitali scored a first round stoppage over Odlanier Solis in March. Next, he defends his WBC belt against Tomasz Adamek in September.
3. Tomasz Adamek – Still undefeated at heavyweight, Adamek will finally take the ultimate test against WBC champ Vitali Klitschko in September. If Adamek is victorious, the former light heavyweight and former cruiserweight champion will have a title in his third division. It seems unlikely to happen, but it is far from impossible.
4. Alexander Povetkin – After three bouts against poor opposition in 2010, Povetkin remains inactive this year. This may change if he indeed faces Ruslan Chagaev for a regular WBA belt later this year.
5. Ruslan Chagaev – After failing to secure a shot against David Haye, the possibility remains that “White Tyson” will face Povetkin. Hopefully this will actually take place later this year.
6. Tony Thompson – Recently, the “Tiger” won an IBF eliminator over Maurice Harris. While Thompson awaits another title shot, he may stay busy, hopefully against someone such as Eddie Chambers.
7. David Haye – In losing a one-sided decision to Klitschko, the “Hayemaker” must decide on his future. He may want a rematch with Wladimir but it seems unlikely to take place. There is a possibility in facing Vitali; however, retirement may be the safer bet for Haye. Then again, collecting paydays while facing American heavyweights could be a safe solution as well.
8. Eddie Chambers – After losing to Wladimir Klitschko, “Fast” Eddie rebounded with a win over Derric Rossy last February. The contest was labeled as an IBF eliminator, but apparently Chambers may have to wait a bit before receiving a title shot.
9. Cristobal Arreola – On a role this year, “The Nightmare” already fought once in January, twice in May, and once in July. All four bouts were victories, and only his most recent appearance lasted the distance. Arreola is already looking to return to the ring within the next six weeks or so.
10. Robert Helenius – This quickly-rising heavyweight prospect already has wins over former champs Lamon Brewster and Samuel Peter, both by knockout. Next, he will face another former champ in Sergei Liakhovich in August.
Other Notable Mentions: Samuel Peter, Dereck Chisora, Kubrat Pulev, Jean Marc Mormeck, and Denis Boytsov.