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Klitschko injures knee, may miss fight

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  • Klitschko injures knee, may miss fight

    Arum: Knee brace might allow Klitschko to fight
    By Dan Rafael

    Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, who already has postponed his mandatory title defense against former champion Hasim Rahman three times this year because of injuries, might have to do so yet again after suffering a training injury on Friday.

    Klitschko, who is scheduled to face Rahman Nov. 12 in Las Vegas in the biggest heavyweight fight of the year, injured his right knee while sparring in Los Angeles, adviser Shelly Finkel said.

    "We're not sure how bad it is. Hopefully, he'll be OK to fight," Finkel told

    Klitschko was examined by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tony Daly on Saturday in Los Angeles.

    "We're still not sure if he can fight but we think it looks good, so they're going to fit him with a brace and hopefully that will do the trick," said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who accompanied Klitschko to the exam.

    "Dr. Daly said he's not sure if he can fight yet, but he'll spar this (Saturday) afternoon, and if he's OK, he'll come to Vegas, have his therapy and the fight will be on."

    Klitschko had an MRI taken of his knee, and although there were slight tears, "it's clear those are old tears," Arum said. "He can do everything except sometimes when he goes side to side the knee will give. But that's what the brace will control."

    Rahman manager Steve Nelson, who is with Rahman at his training camp in Oregon, said he hopes Klitschko doesn't bail out again.

    "It's normal in the sport of boxing to have bumps and bruises," Nelson said. "There is no reason why he can't fight. Let's have Klitschko be a man and get in the ring and fight. Fighters fight through pain. Rock has done it. It's part of the game. Let's hope he's a man and goes through with the fight."

    Citing various back and leg injuries, Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) already has postponed the fight three times. It was supposed take place in April, then June and then July, but each time Klitschko postponed.

    Rahman (41-5-1, 33 KOs), tired of waiting for the fight, claimed the interim WBC title in August when he outpointed Monte Barrett.

    When the Klitschko and Rahman sides could not agree to a new deal for the bout, it went to a purse bid and Arum, who does not promote either fighter, surprised the boxing industry with a winning bid of $12.001 million, beating Rahman promoter Don King's $11 million offer and two others.

    Both fighters are in line for a substantial payday if the fight is staged. Klitschko is due a minimum $7.8 million. Rahman, who recently declared bankruptcy, needs his $4.2 million payday even more.

    Injuries have kept Klitschko sidelined since his first title defense on Dec. 11, 2004, an eighth-round knockout of Danny Williams. [/b][/quote]

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    I don't recall ever seeing a boxer wearing a knee brace...