Klitschko targets new WBC heavyweight champion

18:31, 14 August 2006
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 Oleg Maskaev knocked out champion Hasim Rahman

New WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev has been offered the chance of a unification fight with Wladimir Klitschko, according to SkySports.

      The 37-year-old from Kazakhstan became the fourth fighter from a former Soviet Union nation to hold a belt when he knocked out champion Hasim Rahman.

      His 12th round stoppage of the American in Las Vegas has opened the door to some big money fights, with Klitschko a possible future opponent.

      The Ukrainian, who holds the IBF belt, had appeared likely to face American Shannon Briggs in his next defence.

      However, he has now turned his attention to Maskaev and his manager Shelley Finkel is already working hard to set up a November showdown between the pair.

      "I`ve offered him a deal and now it`s up to him," Finkel said.

      "But I have to have an answer quickly. We need to move forward.

      "He and his people have to understand that they`re not going to get a better deal to fight anyone else."

      However, Maskaev may not be ready to fight again before the end of the year due to injuries.

      He said after beating Rahman that he hurt his back in training and also damaged his right thumb during the fight.

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