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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    No Holds Barred: Wladimir Klitschko-Ruslan Chagaev Hepatitis B Controversy, with Dr. Joseph Estwanik 

    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with noted ringside physician Dr. Joseph Estwanik about the controversy involving the June 20 fight in Germany between Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev for several heavyweight boxing belts.

    Chagaev had been scheduled to face Nikolai Valuev May 30 in Finland, but that fight was cancelled after a prefight blood test found Chagaev to be positive with the hepatitis B antigen. The next week, when David Haye pulled out of a scheduled June 20 fight with Wladimir Klitschko because of a training injury, Chagaev was chosen to replace Haye as Klitschko's opponent.

    Yet, according to the standards of the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians, on whose Board of Directors Dr. Joseph Estwanik serves, "If a fighter is Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Positive (reactive), they have Hepatitis B and cannot fight as they are infectious." Nonetheless, the Klitschko-Chagaev fight is being permitted to proceed in Germany.

    In our commentary on this fight, we discuss why it is yet another disgrace for boxing. We detail how and why most of the boxing media are once again failing to expose this disgrace and are actually trying to benefit from this fight, including The Ring, which has announced that they will recognize the Klitschko-Chagaev winner as their "heavyweight champion of the world". And we stress the need to support the independent boxing media.

    In our lengthy discussion with Dr. Joseph Estwanik, the issues of what is hepatitis B and why fighters who have it should not be allowed to fight are examined in depth. This is the type of candid and thorough discussion with a leading and veteran ringside physician which you will not be able to find in almost all the other media covering boxing, but it is our pleasure and privilege to be able to present it to you right here on No Holds Barred.

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