Big guys need to show us more menace

MURRAY GREIG -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

More than anything, what today's heavyweight division lacks is a heaping helping of old fashioned hatred. At the very least, it's in dire need of some genuine truculence to rekindle fan interest.

Boxing's glamour division doesn't need the cartoonish verbal diarrhea of the 'rasslers and UFC guys, but a revival of Mike Tyson's menace or Muhammad Ali's twisted mind games would certainly be welcome. Even nice guy Joe Louis was known to get downright surly every now and then.

CHILLING

Who can forget Tyson's chilling comment to Tyrell Biggs that he wanted to rip out his heart and watch it stop beating? Or Ali slapping a tiny rubber gorilla upside the head while taunting Joe Frazier with, "Hey gorilla, this is what I'll do to you when we have the thrilla in Manila!"?

As for Louis, after being matched with light heavyweight Billy Conn, the Brown Bomber famously snarled, "He can run, but he can't hide." Prior to another title defence, Louis calmly opined: "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die."

Contrast those scenes to Vladimir Klitschko and Lamon Brewster at this week's final media conference before tomorrow's rematch for Klitschko's IBF title in Colonge, Germany.

There were so many smiles and handshakes, a group hug and a chorus of Koombya wouldn't have seemed out of place.

Even the topic of poisoning was brushed off by Klitschko, who three years ago accused Brewster's camp of poisoning his water after the Ukrainian was TKO'd.

"I am not thinking of the past, there are no parallels between the two fights," Klitschko said.

Brewster didn't want to talk about it either. "Between the two of us, he knows and I know that I didn't poison him," the challenger said. "I was just the better fighter that night."

Brewster was saved by the bell after being knocked down in the fourth round, then floored Klitschko twice in the fifth to end it.

Klitschko, (48-3, 43 KOs), claimed the IBF crown by stopping Chris Byrd 14 months ago. He's successfully defended it against journeymen Calvin Brock and Ray Austin.

Brewster, (33-3, 29 KOs), won the WBO version of the title when he upset Klitschko in 2004 but lost it in April 2006 on a unanimous decision to Sergei Liakhovich.

"I don't have many words to say today; I just want to thank Wladimir for accepting this challenge," said Brewster.

The champ was equally magnanimous. "I've waited more than three years for this fight to happen," Klitschko said, adding "I have great respect for Lamon as a fighter and a sportsman."

Enough already!

Perhaps we'll finally get a throwback fight - ill will and all - when WBA titleholder Ruslan Chagaev and WBO champ Sultan Ibragimov hook up in Moscow in October.

These are two guys who by all accounts don't like each other.

It will mark the first heavyweight unification bout since Evander Holyfield squared off with Lennox Lewis in November 1999 and it'll also be the first title bout between two southpaw champions.

VICIOUS

Ibragimov, a 32-year-old Russian, is 21-0. He won the WBO's version of the title last month with a lopsided decision over Shannon Briggs. Chagaev, 28, is an Uzbek who fights out of Germany.

In April, Chagaev lifted the WBA belt from seven-foot, 330-pound Nikolai Valuev. With a 23-0 record, the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder is a vicious body puncher in the mould of Rocky Marciano and George Chuvalo.

If we're lucky, maybe he'll also show us some of the same ferocious finish those two sluggers possessed.

And snarl while he's doing it ...


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