126-Pound De Facto Tournament? Klimas Loves the Idea

by David P. Greisman

Top Rank promotes three of the four titleholders at featherweight — Evgeny Gradovich (IBF), Nonito Donaire (WBA) and Vasyl Lomachenko (WBO) — as well as Nicholas Walters, who has the WBA’s “regular” belt at 126 pounds.

Egis Klimas, who manages Gradovich and Lomachenko, is in favor of a de-facto tournament in which Top Rank pairs up combinations of the fighters. That’s something in consideration, plus potentially including Jhonny Gonzalez (WBC) and Simpiwe Vetyeka, according to a conversation Dan Rafael of had with Top Rank’s Bob Arum in June.

“I love it. I love it because in the very end, there’ll be one champion with the four belts,” Klimas said. “He’d be the true champion., because right now there’s so many sanctionings, so many different champions — we have this champion, this champion, the intercontinental champion, the super champion, and the super super champion. But the guy who wins the tournament takes all four titles and will become a super champion. That would be ideal.”

That could potentially leave Klimas, if he’s fortunate, with one fighter with a world title instead of two fighters with belts.

“Well if he’s not deserving, then he’s not deserving,” Klimas responded.

Even though that would potentially mean less money for the manager?

“It’s not all about the money. It’s a sport,” he said. “You can’t convert sport into the money all the time.”

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at or internationally at Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Jordanmfonseca on 07-31-2014

Round Robin style would be best like the Super Six super middleweight tournament. But this would literally derail any progress for Lomachenko. I think he's an AMAZING fighter but he's too inexperienced I guess we're forgetting he's only one fight…

Comment by nivek535 on 07-31-2014

that'd be awesome would be better if they fought every opponent, rather than elimination style;) :boxing::boxing:

Comment by HEND on 07-31-2014

[QUOTE=285Kid;14811453]No Mares & Russell they both Al Haymon guys , here you go [IMG][/IMG][/QUOTE] It sounds good, but Mares isn't with Haymon, he is Oscar's fighter like Canelo. So I would replace Cuellar with Mares but otherwise it's cool.

Comment by 285Kid on 07-30-2014

[QUOTE=HEND;14811451]Loma, Nonito, Walters, Gradovich, Vetyeka, Gonzales, Mares, Rigo/Gamboa (Rigo maybe can step up and Gamboa wants to step down one or two division). I would love a tornament like this. I would mention Garry Russell as well but I guess…

Comment by HEND on 07-30-2014

Loma, Nonito, Walters, Gradovich, Vetyeka, Gonzales, Mares, Rigo/Gamboa (Rigo maybe can step up and Gamboa wants to step down one or two division). I would love a tornament like this. I would mention Garry Russell as well but I guess…

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