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Vitali Klitschko's Next Fight: Don King Wants to Do Rumble in the Jungle II With Bermane Stiverne

Don King wants to promote Vitali Klitschko vs Bermane Stiverne in Africa. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Don King wants to promote Vitali Klitschko vs Bermane Stiverne in Africa. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bongarts/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Here's one from left field: Corey Erdman reports at The RING that Don King is interested in doing a fight in Africa pitting WBC heavyweight titlist Vitali Klitschko against Bermane Stiverne.

"Mr. King wants to do Rumble in the Jungle II," said [Stiverne manager Camille] Estephan of the plans expressed to him by King, who promotes Stiverne. "He wanted to know whether Bermane would be ready. The Klitschkos, we have a lot of respect for them, but we want to fight them to beat them, we don't want to fight them for a paycheck."

Stiverne (21-1, 20 KO) has built up a record feasting on inferior competition, and on June 25 this year got a bizarre WBC eliminator fight in St. Louis with Ray Austin, which HBO chose to air. That turned out to be a mistake, as Stiverne vs Austin may well have been the worst HBO-televised fight of the year, with Stiverne, 33, almost refusing to let his hands go until stopping Austin in the 10th round. In short, Stiverne hardly distinguished himself as an interesting opponent for Vitali.

As for a fight in Africa, well... Don King says a lot of things now, but he doesn't promote very many shows and something like this would probably be out of his reach. And even the thought of considering Klitschko vs Stiverne a sequel to Ali vs Foreman is pretty absurd.

And anyway, Klitschko seems more focused on landing a March fight with David Haye. It's bigger money, more notable, and even though Haye is essentially at rock bottom right now in terms of reputation, still a much, much better fight than Stiverne.

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