By Frank Warren
CAN you remember who the last American heavyweight champion of the world was?
I had to look through the record books to check and found out it was Shannon Briggs over four years ago.
America was once the powerhouse of heavyweight boxing but that balance long ago shifted to Europe.
The respected Ring Magazine's heavyweight top 10 ratings only have Americans Eddie Chambers and Chris Arreola, with the rest from Eastern Europe, bar David Haye.
Of course, the Ukrainian Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali, rule the roost holding all four major belts between them.
Expect the Eastern Europeans to be a dominant force at the 2012 Olympics, although the British super-heavyweight talent Anthony Joshua, if selected, could be one to watch out for.
The trend continues tonight in Erfurt, Germany, when Ruslan Chagaev, from Uzbekistan, takes on big Russian Alexander Povetkin for the vacant WBA world heavyweight title and next month Vitali defends his WBC belt against Tomasz Adamek in Poland.
The WBA organisation ridiculously elevated Wladimir to 'super' champion after he beat Haye to take the 'regular' title and then declared it vacant.
Like the WBC with their assortment of Silver, Diamond, and Emeritus titles and whatever else, it just adds confusion to the man on the street.
Although Chagaev is nicknamed 'White Tyson', probably because his early career is littered with quick KO's over journeymen, he hasn't stopped anyone in five years.
I nearly signed Povetkin when he came out of the Athens Olympics with gold.
As a pro, he's stacked up an unbeaten record of 21 fights with 15 KO's. He's solid and carries a big punch but he's not as mobile as you would like. That said I think he will be too much for Chagaev.
Carl Froch said this week it sounds like his friend Haye won't be fighting again after his defeat to Wladimir. I believe this to be the case seeing as he's made a truckload of money.
Froch, the WBC world super-middleweight champ who heads into the Showtime Super-Six final in October against Andre Ward, also moaned that doing the essential PR work to publicise the fight has been a hindrance to his training.
Not so long ago Froch complained that the media paid no interest in him — this is hardly surprising if this is his attitude.
Primetime's David McConachie, whose PPV channel picked up Froch's fights when no other TV station wanted to cover them, said that he found it extremely difficult to get Froch to do any publicity — which reflected on subsequent low sales for his fights. He can't have it both ways.
I MADE a great signing this week that caught a few people off guard when George Groves joined my promotional organisation.
Everyone is asking about a Groves-James DeGale rematch and it will definitely happen down the line — it will be an even bigger fight.