Well, the deal is sealed. After some flip flopping, Samuel Peter made good on his promise to reject the step-aside money and go for the title now against WBC heavyweight beltholder Oleg Maskaev. Klitschko will make his comeback against the winner.
Initially, this is what Samuel Peter claims to have wanted. But according to ESPN, the Peter camp did eventually agree to accept 2.75 million in step aside money with a guarantee of fighting the winner. Then apparently, due to some kind of insurance issues, combined with flagging support to fund Vitali's comeback, the money dried up, and camp Klitschko has now decided to step down and wait.
Maskaev's promoter Dennis Rappaport had this to say about the negotiations. "Initially, the dollars for a Maskaev-Klitschko fight were huge," he said. "Then the revenue diminished because of the changing deals, and in large part because of what we had to pay Peter, which I thought was too much. It's been so bizarre, this whole experience, it is almost impossible to explain."
Well, I don't care to know much more anyway. This is the sequence of fights most fans, including myself, want to see. Peter unquestionably beat Toney in their last fight and should by all rights fight Maskaev. But most of us are excited to see Vitali make his comeback, and we would much rather see him fight Peter than Maskaev. So hopefully Peter will take care of business, so that this bout can happen.
Is it possible that we are beginning to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel of heavyweight darkness?