By Luke Furman
Bernd Boente, manager of WBO/IBF/IBO/WBA heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, says they are targeting a unification bout against newly crowned WBC champion Bermane Stiverne. Boente says a fight with IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev is secondary.
Pulev's promoter, Kalle Sauerland, will look to get Klitschko stripped if he doesn't move forward with his obligation against Pulev, but Boente doesn't seem worried. Klitschko is targeting a potential return date in September.
"It doesn’t matter what Sauerland says, it’s important what Wladimir wants and he wants to unify the titles. Stiverne might have a problem with his promoter (Don King) who wants him to have a voluntary defense. We have spoken to Sauerland Event, but the numbers they want are ridiculous. If this is their last word, the fight will never happen," Boente told Bulgarian Sport.
Boente is also angered about the claims of Pulev, who says Klitschko is avoiding a fight with him.
"That’s only a ridiculous PR. Pulev has fought nobody! Absolutely nobody! The only guy who was better than the rest was Thompson. He won on points against Thompson and Wladimir knocked out Thompson twice. Why should Wladimir be afraid of Pulev? That’s only PR from Pulev and Sauerland. The only reason Wlad wants to fight Stiverne and not Pulev, is because he wants to make boxing history," Boente said.
Stiverne owes a mandatory defense of his own, to Deontay Wilder. The WBC has already ruled that Stiverne must face Wilder next - unless a deal is reached for Wilder to step aside.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.