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Vitali claims injury not serious, will return in early 2008

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Vitali Klitschko is now saying that he feels fine, and that his back injury isn't bothering him. Also, he plans to move forward and fight again in the first quarter of 2008, against the winner of the Oleg Maskaev-Samuel Peter title match coming up on October 6th.

If Vitali Klitschko really feels OK, why the hell isn't he fighting Jameel McCline on Saturday? McCline -- now scheduled to face DaVarryl Williamson on the undercard of Maskaev-Peter -- should feel insulted, as I sort of do. I gave Vitali some credit for choosing a fairly tough opponent in his comeback bout, and thought it was nice of him to get in what should have been a tune-up bout before facing Maskaev or Peter next year.

I'll let Don King, who orchestrated McCline-Williamson, speak for me this time: "Vitali himself did what he usually does, he backed out of a fight."

Vitali Klitschko was at one time a hell of a fighter. But this isn't the first time we've ever seen this type of thing from his team. With this development, I don't really welcome Vitali back into the fold anymore. If he does actually fight Maskaev or Peter next year, I hope he loses.

That October 6 card from Showtime is a nice free alternative to the Pacquiao-Barrera pay-per-view, too. Maskaev-Peter is a legit heavyweight title fight, and the undercard has some good stuff going on. Nothing world-beating, and I'll most likely still just pay for Pacquiao-Barrera II, but it's a good card.

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