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Vitali Klitschko agrees to fight with Albert Sosnowski

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If this is indeed Vitali Klitschko's final year as an active boxer, he's sure starting with a whimper. After talks with Nikolai Valuev fell apart and a deal with Odlanier Solis apparently couldn't be reached, WBC titlist Klitschko (39-2, 37 KO) has agreed to a fight with European titleholder Albert Sosnowski (45-2-1, 27 KO). They will meet May 29 in Germany.

Sosnowski was scheduled to face Audley Harrison in London on April 9, but has pulled out of that fight for the chance at bigger money and obviously greater glory against Klitschko.

Before anyone starts considering whether or not the 31-year-old Pole has a chance against Vitali, let me deflate that balloon quickly. We're talking about a fighter in Sosnowski who was shut out over eight rounds two years ago against Zuri Lawrence, the heavyweight oddity best known for his stunning record (24-15-4, 0 KO). Sosnowski was routed by Lawrence, who had in his previous two fights been knocked out by the shell of Hasim Rahman and then decisioned by non-prospect Darrel Madison. After Sosnowski, Lawrence was knocked out by Jason Estrada, another guy who can't punch.

Said Sosnowski of the opportunity, "A dream comes true. Because of the Harrison fight I am already in training and suddenly comes the once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight Klitschko. I want to thank him and his team to give me that opportunity which I will definitely take. For me, Klitschko is already over the hill. I know that I am the underdog for everybody, but I tell you, Klitschko will regret that he picked me. Many Polish and Germans with Polish roots live in the Gelsenkirchen area and I hope that they will support me. I will be the first Polish heavyweight champion of the world!"

Well, he's not lacking for enthusiasm. We can give him that.

Klitschko's biggest problem here is a win over Sosnowski adds absolutely nothing to his legacy, to his current standing, to anything. It just keeps him busy, but that's also sort of important when you're 38 with a balky back and are trying to secure a fight with David Haye later in the year. The last thing Klitschko would need going into a Haye fight is heavy rust or his body being off.

It is what it is, and I can't call it anything more than that. It's nothing but a tune-up. It's a nice opportunity for Sosnowski, and the fight could make OK money. Klitschko is a big draw in Germany, and Polish fight fans are very dedicated. Sosnowski isn't exactly Tomasz Adamek or Andrew Golota in name (or talent), but he's getting a shot at a major title.

If you're wondering what becomes of Audley Harrison, no word yet.