By Frank Warren
In the high-pressure world of politics, politicians are well known for their short fuses and explosive tempers.
Boxing’s most high profile politicians Vitali Klitschko and Manny Pacquiao know how to control theirs inside the political ring and also in the squared ring.
WBC World Heavyweight Champion Klitschko defends his title tonight in Moscow against the young pretender Manuel Charr and has put his political ambitions on ice until after the fight.
He formed and is the leader of the United Democratic Action for Reform (UDAR) - which is Ukrainian for punch - opposition party that is focused on making Ukraine a democratic state.
The parliament in Ukraine regularly breaks into a fight with Klitschko saying “Sport has certain laws and rights and rules. But politics, even if you have laws as well, there’s like no rules.”
Earlier this year a massive brawl erupted during a debate on a controversial bill, it ended with some Ukrainian politicians covered in blood and one being rushed to hospital.
That was mild compared to a fight in December 2010 which sent six MPs to hospital and in April of that year the speaker hid behind an umbrella as opposition MPs threw eggs and smoke bombs.
I don’t think the 6ft 7in and 19st Klitschko, who’s stopped 40 out of 46 opponents, should get any trouble in Parliament and I don’t see Charr giving him any trouble either.
The fight is live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) and recent Dereck Chisora conqueror David Haye will be provide some special commentary. If Klitschko comes through against Charr then the most attractive fight out there is against the flashy Brit.
Dr. Ironfist hasn’t lost a fight in nine years and this will be his ninth title defence in his second reign as WBC champion. When Charr made his pro-debut in May 2005, Klitschko was already in retirement having won two world titles.
This week Pacquiao, a Filipino Congressman, had his fight date moved for a third time and is now looking at December 8 in Las Vegas for his big comeback, possibly in a rematch against Timothy Bradley or a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.
It must be a major headache trying to schedule a Pacquiao fight date to marry-up with a TV date, venue availability, promotional tours and training camps and alongside a forthcoming campaign for re-election to congress.
Last week Pacquiao, the only man ever to win world titles in eight weight classes, addressed the people of Sarangani District at a ceremony to report the accomplishments he has made since he was elected as representative of the province.
It was a big success with Pacquiao delivering more to his people in his little over two years in power that his predecessor did in his six years, a local reporter gushed, “Pacquiao is now a master of local politics, able to impose his will over allies who are beholden to him.”
Pacman now has his eyes on the big prize of becoming the president of the Philippines which could happen in the next ten years.
I wonder if all this political work has impacted on his boxing. Although he beat Bradley earlier this year, he’s not looked the devastating force that destroyed Miguel Cotto and blew away Ricky Hatton, and his last five fights have all gone the distance.
Klitschko and Pacquiao aren’t the first boxers to go into politics.
Colin Moynihan, former Sports Minister and former steward of the British Boxing Board of Control, won a boxing blue at Oxford University as a bantamweight.
English bare-knuckle prize-fighter John Gully sat in the House of Commons from 1832-1837 as a MP for Pontefract. He once fought for an hour and seventeen minutes against Henry Pearce over twenty eight rounds and lost.
Heavyweight bruiser John Prescott must have though he was in Kiev, earned his nickname 'Two Jabs' after a protester threw an egg at his face and the former deputy prime minister retaliated with a perfect left jab on his chin.
Charlotte Leslie, MP for Bristol North West, is a former amateur boxer and is currently the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Boxing which has done fantastic work to encourage young people to get into the sport to avoid wider social problems such as anti-social behaviour.
In America, Senator John McCain, who boxed in the United States Naval Academy, has been involved in legislation related to boxing since the mid-1990s and was responsible for bringing in the Muhammad Ali Act to better regulate the sport.
Heavyweight great Gene Tunney’s son John V Tunney was a US Representative and Senator for California. While former president Teddy Roosevelt boxed as a light-heavyweight at Harvard and after he reached the White House continued to invite sparring partners round, even professionals, but he met his match one day when he was hit on the left eye that cause severe hemorrhaging and a detached retina that led to blindness in the eye.
And devastating puncher and former three-weight world champion Alexis Arguello, a hero in his native Nicaragua, become mayor of the capital Managua in November 2008, but sadly committed suicide in July the following year.
Meanwhile ace Politricker Jose Sulaiman showed his hand when the WBkaChing President reinstated David Haye back into their ratings.
The Hayemaker is expected to challenge Vitali Klitschko next year – fat sanction fees have nothing to do with his decision.
WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly, who holds a degree in Mathematics from Cardiff University, meets his match in brain power next month against challenger Vyacheslav Uzelkov.
The Ukrainian holds two masters degrees in pedagogy and medicinal psychology against Cleverly’s degree in mathematics from Cardiff University.
Chris Lighty, longtime business manager to rap star and new boxing promoter 50 Cent, apparently shot himself.
As well as working with stars Mariah Carey, LL Cool J and Diddy, Lighty was also the one-time manager of Ronald “Winky” Wright.
Freddie Flintoff is in serious training for his pro debut in November. At 34, without any boxing experience, it is a big ask.
Ex World Champion and advocate of boxers safety Barry McGuigan thinks he has what it takes!
We will find out whether it is a ‘car crash’ or real boxing on 30th November when BoxNation broadcast the fight live!
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