Vitali Klitschko looked unmarked after his fight with Chris Arreola. The 38-year old heavyweight titlist is looking for another fight in December. (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)
Apparently, a dominant September win over an undefeated contender isn't enough to satisfy 38-year old Vitali Klitschko. The WBC heavyweight titleholder is looking to fight again in December, according to BoxingScene.com.
There are apparently two opponents under consideration. The first is 40-year old former titleholder Oleg Maskaev (36-6, 27 KO), who was named the mandatory challenger a while back by the WBC. It's a pretty ludicrous position for Maskaev, whose last notable fight was a sixth round TKO loss to Samuel Peter back in March of 2008. That fight revolved around Klitschko, in fact, as Maskaev-Peter had been scheduled for 2007. Klitschko announced his comeback, and as "WBC Champion Emeritus," he was in line for a title fight. Peter was asked to step aside, but refused. Klitschko then intended to fight Jameel McCline, but both Klitschko and Maskaev pulled up lame for their fights with McCline and Peter, respectively, leading to a Peter-McCline fight for the interim title that nearly saw Peter upset on short notice. Peter continued to refuse step-aside money, eventually got the fight with Maskaev, and took the title with relative ease. After that, Peter fought Klitschko, Klitschko dominated, and the rest is history.
Klitschko-Maskaev at this point would be sanctioned assault. Maskaev has never stood up to punches terribly well in the first place, and now he's 40. The last time he beat a name opponent came in 2006 when he came back to stop Hasim Rahman in the final minute, which is the fight that won him the WBC strap.
The other option is a little more exciting: American Kevin Johnson (22-0-1, 9 KO), who recently pulled out of a fight with Odlanier Solis on October 10. Johnson, at 6'3", has a long reach (83") and has shown fine boxing skills during his rise. He had been gaining a reputation as a guy that couldn't punch, and his KO rate is no prize to be sure, but his last three fights have all been stoppages, including a sixth round TKO of previously unbeaten Devin Vargas in May and a fifth round stoppage of veteran Bruce Seldon last September.
Given the fact that it would seem most resources at HBO and Showtime would be tapped for the remainder of 2009, either fight would likely have to be picked up by ESPN in the States, or sold on a small pay-per-view, but given the weak undercards that accompany Klitschko fights and the fact that neither brother is very popular in the U.S., the latter is unlikely. ESPN could even pretend they're going to put it on the flagship network and then stick it on Classic "at the last minute," like they did with Klitschko-Gomez.