Challenger Takes Belt From Klitschko - Literally

The recent rise of MMA has led many to opine the death of boxing as a legitimate sport.  Shady promoters, a lack of heavyweight stars, and scandals in and out of the ring make boxing look more than ever like a cousin of the ballet known as professional wrestling.  Fortunately, Vitali Klitschko and Samuel Peter are here to return the sweet science to its former glory.  Or not.

Look dumb or mean, either one.

According to ESPN.COM:

The two fighters — both called champions by the WBC — were engaged in the routine pre-fight stare-down with both holding the belt. Peter, urged by trainer Stacy McKinley, then snatched it from Klitschko’s grasp. Klitschko looked surprised, then bemused.

So, why wasn’t titleholder Klitschko angered by the theft?

The 37-year-old Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) has been out of the ring since an eighth-round win over Danny Williams on Dec. 11, 2004. He lost the WBC belt in 2005 after withdrawing from a title bout because of a torn right knee ligament.

The WBC made him “champion emeritus.”

Forgetting for a moment Peter’s antics of “stealing” his own belt and storming off, there is another issue here.  Despite Vitali not having fought for almost four years and having lost the title three years ago, both men share the same belt.  The only thing that would make this any seedier is a greedy promoter.

Peter’s American promoter, Dino Duva, didn’t hide his displeasure about being in Europe.

“I’m a little upset that everyone is speaking in German,” Duva said. “I didn’t want to fight in Germany. But [German broadcaster] RTL paid the most money and that’s why we’re here — I make no bones about it.”

Ahh yes, the gentleman’s sport.