By Matt Richardson
According to an exclusive memo obtained by Fightnews.com, former WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev will get a chance to regain his title against the winner of a proposed fight between current champion Vitali Klitschko and mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Gomez. According to the memo, sent by WBC president Jose Sulaiman last Monday, Klitschko is to fight Gomez by April 30, 2009 with a potential extension allowed to no later than June 30. With Gomez getting his title shot it will clear the way for Maskaev (35-6, 26 KO’s) to become the mandatory challenger. The winner of the Klitschko-Gomez fight then has 120 days to defend his title against Maskaev “with a possible extension of 60 additional days under extenuating circumstances.” A period of 30 days, according to the memo, will be allowed after the Klitschko-Gomez fight to negotiate a fight against Maskaev, which, if not completed accordingly, will then go thru the traditional purse offer procedure.
Maskaev and his team, meanwhile, had been in litigation against the sanctioning organization for a variety of issues that occurred during Maskaev’s reign as champ from August 2006 to March of this year. These included the purse split for Maskaev’s defense against Samuel Peter, the labeling of Peter as interim champion when Maskaev postponed their original fight, as well as other issues. The result of that litigation, which had gone to the court of arbitration, is the insertion of Maskaev as mandatory challenger against Klitschko, a fighter Maskaev beat as an amateur. How Maskaev’s shot against Klitschko will effect a proposed Klitschko-David Haye fight, however, remains to be seen. Maskaev, meanwhile, is free to fight before the Klitschko-Gomez fight occurs with the caveat being that, should he lose, he would forfeit his mandatory challenger status.