Sunday, November 19, 2006

The IBF pushing Calzaghe to fight unproven “number one” contender

Ruling the latest in a series of outlandish actions by the organization

By JE Grant

In a weight division with top fighters such as Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler, Robert Stieglitz is now the number one contender according to the IBF.

So firm is the organization in this belief that it is poised to strip the 42-0 champion Calzaghe of its belt if he chooses to defends against anyone else.

Stieglitz, a Russian based in Germany, though 25-0, has never beaten a consensus top 10 fighter.

Fighters such as former titlists Jeff Lacy, Anthony Mundine, and Markus Beyer, have been leap-frogged by the 25 year-old for reasons apparent only to the IBF.

Other top division dwellers such as Allan Green, Librado Andrade, and Lucien Bute are also relegated to a lower status.

The BBC quoted IBF championship committed chairman Lindsey Tucker as saying "I don't think it's fair that Stieglitz should wait any longer."

As unbelievable as it is that anyone from the IBF is talking about something being “fair,” nevertheless the organization is pushing for Stieglitz to get a shot now.

This is of course just a small part of the lunacy that pervades the IBF (and the other alphabets) and is just the reason why the organizations, through their intense greed, will eventually drive themselves from existence.

Hopefully Calzaghe thumbs his nose at the IBF and carries on with plans to fight an actual, proven top fighter next time out. His previous slavish resolve to keep his other belt, the WBO version, kept him from fighting several big names along the way.

Nearing age 35 he simply does not have the time to continue the alphabet game any longer.

We cannot be surprised by virtually any action by the IBF. The organization stripped the undisputed (and undisputable) middleweight champion Jermain Taylor so that Arthur Abraham could fight Kingsley Ikeke for the belt.

So out of touch is the IBF that it lists Abraham, a native of Armenia but now a German citizen, as being from “Australia” on its website. His current number one contender is hard-punching Edison Miranda. We can only guess that they haven’t seen Winky Wright.

At heavyweight the organization lists that fine young fighter “Not Rated” as the number one contender. How can the organization not settle on a top-rated contender? You have to wonder what exactly they are waiting for.

Want more? How about the stripping of O’Neil Bell who the entire world saw win the undisputed (and undisputable) cruiserweight championship. The IBF still can’t put together two fighters to compete for the bogus belt.

More still? The one-time undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah was stunned and upset by the tough Carlos Baldomir in a world title fight. Baldomir, who chose not to pay the exorbitant fee for the precious right to wear the organization’s belt, was denied the IBF version.

Much worse, however, was the fact that Judah was allowed to keep the belt and subsequently lost his next fight and the fake title to the great Floyd Mayweather.

So impressed by the title was Mayweather, that he almost instantly dumped it and instead chose to face the real champion Baldomir.

Who knows who will be paired for the “vacant” title now.

Perhaps the most blatant action by the organization was its 2005 ruling that DaVarryl Williamson should jet past Wladimir Klitschko to get a title shot at then-titlist Chris Byrd despite having lost to Klitschko.

The consequence? The boxing world was made to watch Byrd easily dismantle Williamson for a paltry (by heavyweight title standards) purse.

The waste of time and energy for the titlist and the sport resulted in yet one more reason the general sporting public bemoans the state of the sport.

The collection of inane actions by the IBF and the companion alphabet organizations makes them deserving of ignoring.

Hopefully Calzaghe takes the path of Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson as they eschewed title belts to give us the best match-up at the time in the light-heavyweight division.

By facing Taylor or fellow belt-wearer Kessler, he will make more money and gain even wider recognition as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.


Anonymous The cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

SPOT-ON J.E! (And NO...At 35, you DON'T have time to play the 'alphabet game'! Hell, I will soon turn 35 myself -- and I don't have any time for it either!)

12:11 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

JE! Check your Yahoo email bud. I think I was FINALLY able to get those Boytsov clips sent!

2:34 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Thanks............I've already watched the first clip. Excellent. Lots of talent and poise.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

I'll go out on a limb and say the following J.E: Of all the young hvy's I've seen, I think he has the most upside of talent and marketability I've seen.

(Hell, I not only predicted greatness for a young Holyfield, Tyson, Bowe, Lewis, and Ibeabuchi...But also a 20 yr.old guy by the name of Herbie Hide about 15 years back. In other words -- I'm used to looking like both a genuis and a jackass. It's the story of my life...LOL)

* Now back to this disturbing ibf/Calzaghe stuff...;-(

5:33 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

* The previous comment was all of the CURRENT young hvy's I've seen, and the last few years. I was also impressed with the Klitschko's to a degree as well.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

You know...The alphabet soup actually seems like it is shooting itself in the foot. Continually. Almost as if they have a subconcious "death wish" of sorts. That being said -- we are still an awfully long ways from eliminating these cretins from Boxing...

7:13 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

You're right........there are still too many promoters and fighters who insist on paying the huge fees. When they start resisting in droves you'll see change.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heya guys, Meke here. Just read in the (British) papers that Calzaghe is saying that he want to fight "the contender" Manfredo in order to get more exposure in the US (and possibly a huge fight against Hopkins or Taylor). Hence, if the cirumstances are right, the IBF belt may get binned again! ;)

11:51 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

Ehh...(Good to see you Meke) I can KIND of understand that from JC's prespective, but...Ehh...For one thing, "Fettucine" Manfredo should be at 160 instead of Super middle. (I should be at lt.hvy instead of cruiser myself, but not the point...) I think JS has about one more "peak" year before he starts on the proverbial downslide. I want to see him fight Kessler, Taylor, or move up to 175.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, seems like JC is fighting Manfredo on the 22nd March... unless he breaks one of his hands in the meantime!


3:30 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Manfredo is a good fight for him for public relations. He is well known -- and he is no match for JC.

7:11 PM  

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