Ranking the Best Options for Wladimir Klitschko's Next Fight

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Ranking the Best Options for Wladimir Klitschko's Next Fight
Martin Meissner

When it comes to Wladimir Klitschko, the rankings no longer matter.

He has been a champion since 2006, hasn't lost since two years earlier and has done a violent number on a recurring series of top contenders from each of the organizations whose belts he now holds, namely the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO.

So now that he's dispatched the latest in that series—Samoan-born WBO top man Alex Leapai—via fifth-round TKO on Saturday in Oberhausen, Germany, figuring the options for his next go-round might require a little more creativity.

Not to the extent where we'd suggest he meet fellow pound-for-pounders Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Gennady Golovkin to prove his worth but certainly more than simply listing the new man that each sanctioning body lists as its mandatory next in line.

It's going to take novelty to revive interest in the land of the big men, where Klitschko's dominance and a dearth of compelling competition—particularly in the United States—have sapped much of the significance from the phrase "heavyweight championship of the world."

At least these five challengers, in our view, might do a little something to change that.

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