WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitchko is being shelved until 2014 for an apparent injury to his right hand. This has caused criticism from the mandatory number 1 challenger Bermane Stiverne. Stiverne just beat former challenger Chris Arreola for the number one spot in dominant fashion. The WBC has stayed that they will not make a judgement on the status of the title until first quarter of 2014 allowing Klitchko time to heal. The normal scenario, as in the case for most divisions, is that when the champion becomes inactive there usually is crowned an interim champ. This allows for the title to be defended instead of waiting for the champ to return. As you can expect camp Stiverne to become restless. The challenger himself released a statement.
“I would hate to think the WBC treats some fighters more highly than others.” Said Stiverne “I don’t understand. (Timothy) Bradley was stripped when he was injured but I’ve read that the WBC would never strip Vitali. Do they have favorites? All fighters should be treated the same. We haven’t heard anything directly from the WBC. The WBC isn’t respecting us or its own rules. I remember when (Oleg) Maskaev was hurt before his fight with (Sam) Peter and Peter was named the WBC Interim champion. This isn’t fair or respectful, and it’s bad for boxing.”
Team Stiverne is calling for the belt but this is exactly why the heavyweight division is at a stand still. I can certainly see Stiverne’s point. There is some very good competition now in the heavyweight division and the only way to bring it all back is to wipe the Klitchko’s out of the title picture. Vitali hasn’t fought a major contender in about a year and its time to force him to fight these youngsters or gracefully retire at 42. What do the fans think of this? Is the WBC playing favorites? Should Klitchko be stripped of the title? Let us know.