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Greatest heavyweight champion puncher?

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The World Boxing Council — which stands for “where bagmen collect” — has declared that heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko is the greatest fighter in boxing today and the greatest heavyweight champion puncher of all time.

“Klitschko has proved that he is the best fighter in the world nowadays, pound for pound, after defeating Juan Carlos Gomez (ninth round knockout) who had a record of 35 knockouts in 44 wins and only 1 loss,” the WBC declared in a statement. “Klitschko has outdone all other fighters, no matter what division they belong to. The heavyweight world champion is the only one who can claim he is the greatest champion in the world of boxing as nobody can defeat him.

“With Vitali’s extraordinary wins, in fights that have been stunning to world fans, showing absolute control and power, our king of the heavyweights has silenced many mouths and media that had unfairly attacked him without any evidence, and been disrespectful to him, considering the great class he is showing,” the statement continued. “Jose Sulaiman, president of our organization, stated today that Klitschko is the pride the WBC as well as he is the pride of world boxing. Vitali Klitschko’s record is now: 37 wins; 36 of them by knockout, and including his last win by KO, his percentage in this specialty went up to 97 percent, fact after which Klitschko is placed as the greatest puncher ever in the heavyweight division.”

I place this as exhibit number 1,112 as evidence of the demise of boxing.

Klitschko is as suspect a heavyweight champion as Barry Bonds is as baseball’s all-time home run leader, and for the same reasons. And as far has his record and knockouts, they have come against opponents who wouldn’t even be fit for sparring partners against the likes of George Foreman, in his first incarnation, who maybe truly was the hardest punching heavyweight champion of all time.

This WBC statement, like heavyweight boxing, may be laughable, but it is worth noting that while boxing has fallen on hard times here in America, it still commands attention overseas, where Klitschko fights nearly all of the time. According to television figures recently released of his fight last Saturday against Gomez, 11.5 million television viewers watched on German TV channel RTL, which reportedly was a market share of 55 percent.

In local bloodsport news, local fan favorite Jimmy Lange has a new opponent for his May 2 fight card at the Patriot Center. Lange (29-3-2, 20 KOs) was supposed to meet Ryan Davis, but now will face Frank Houghtaling (19-15-5, 4 KOs) of Albany, N.Y. Also, the Ultimate Warrior Challenge officially announced some of the fighters on its April 25 mixed martial arts show, also at the Patriot Center. Bantamweight Mike “The Hulk” Easton (7-1), who won the first UWC World Championship last month, will defend his 135-pound title against Josh “Taz” Ferguson (6-1), in the main event. Other fighters scheduled to be on the card include Kris “Savage” McCray out of Woodbridge; Ron “The Choir Boy” Stallings from Baltimore; Reshad Woods of Manassas, and Jose “The Pistol” Villarisco of Arlington.

Radio

I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM today (Thursday) from 4 to 7 p.m. and Monday, March 30, from 5 to 7 p.m.

To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com

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