Wladimir Klitschko will officially face Derek Chisora next, as other worthy opponents dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge out of his way. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
- It appears that Derek Chisora has signed the dotted line to face Wladimir Klitschko on December 11 in Mannheim, Germany. While Chisora isn't the greatest opponent in the world, he might actually be one of the best opponents available, as was broken down by Scott a couple weeks ago. Chisora is only 14-0 and hasn't actually beaten any world-class competition, but this is what happens when you have one or two fighters who are just too dominant in a division. A few decades ago, Larry Holmes was forced to face 15-0 Tim Witherspoon, 10-0 Marvis Frazier, 14-1 Bonecrusher Smith, 14-0 David Bey and 16-0 Carl Williams. This really is no different. Wlad has already beaten all the serious contenders who aren't avoiding him for the time being, and at a bare minimum, it might help raise his profile in the U.K. (and eliminate a potential future opponent for David Haye) to make a Haye fight more likely.
- Since there really isn't anyone that great left, the IBF is proposing to have yet another heavyweight tournament to determine Wladimir's next mandatory challenger. The fighters who have reportedly been offered spots in the tournament are Alexander Dimitrenko, Jean Marc Mormeck, Jonathon Banks and Eddie Chambers. Denis Boytsov was initially offered a spot, but declined the invitation and was replaced by Chambers, adding to the already long list of guys who just want no piece of Wlad. Is it possible that the third biggest draw in the sport is also becoming the most avoided man in the sport? Anyway, last time the IBF did this, it went pretty well - Chambers, Alexander Povetkin, Chris Byrd and Calvin Brock boxed off, and Povetkin won the tournament to create a legitimate challenger when there otherwise wasn't one. Too bad the results themselves weren't so great - Povetkin sat on the mandatory for two years and then ducked out of the fight anyway.
- Speaking of Mormeck, a rumor has been floating around from several sources that he may be facing Hasim Rahman next. It sounds likely that the two are in discussions, although who knows how getting offered a spot in the IBF tournament might affect the chances of that fight happening. Mormeck is now 2-0 at heavyweight, but he reportedly hasn't looked too good, and everyone I know who actually saw the fight says that Fres Oquendo was robbed (once again) in their bout.
- It's not quite Andriy Kotelnik, but Victor Ortiz's next opponent will be Lamont Peterson. The IBF has decided to sanction the bout as an IBF title eliminator, so that pretty much set up the match. Since losing a lopsided decision to Timothy Bradley last year, Peterson has come back with a good but not great win over Damian Fuller. Still, Peterson is a legitimate opponent, although it's a little tough to tell how legitimate simply because he lost so badly to Bradley, and the next best fighter he's faced is probably Lanardo Tyner. The fight will serve as the main appetizer for Khan-Maidana, and it is expected that the winners of the two bouts will fight each other eventually. The more likely scenario is that the winner will have to face Kaizer Mabuza next, as he's the current IBF mandatory and titlist Devon Alexander is about to get stripped because he's signed to fight someone better than Kaizer Mabuza.
- A few other title eliminators and mandatories that have been announced recently - Vusi Malinga against Michael Domingo for the IBF bantamweight title; Gavin Rees as John Murray's mandatory for both his European and British lightweight championships, despite Rees not having fought as low as 135 since 2003; Jonathan Victor Barros vs. Irving Berry for the WBA's featherweight title (again); Chris John-Yuriorkis Gamboa has finally been ordered, meaning if a fight isn't put together by January, it will go to purse bid; and Francisco Palacios has been installed as mandatory for Guillermo Jones, although last time someone became Jones's mandatory, it took over a year and a half to actually make the fight.