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 ESPN.com 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 http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: Vasyl Lomachenko