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The Wladimir Klitschko – David Haye Disgrace – Boxing Failed on Saturday Night

By Geno McGahee

It was years in the making. Wladimir Klitschko, 56-3, 49 KO’s, would finally meet somebody that wasn’t going to sit back and wait. He wasn’t going to run. He wasn’t going to go out without making some serious noise. He was going to face David Haye, 25-2, 21 KO’s, and the fight was heavily hyped with fight fans split down the middle. I think that most agreed that it was going to end in a knockout either way, but in the end, we got more of the same. It was a Klitschko sort of fight.

Although Haye has gotten the majority of the criticism for his reluctance to fight, Wlad was no house of fire himself. Teddy Atlas always speaks of silent agreements and that seemed to be in order here. Haye moved and Wlad let him. With George Foreman there, you couldn’t help but to think what he would have done. He would have cut off the ring and knocked out the smaller man. But Wlad is no George, and unfortunately, there is no real competition for him. It’s likely that he will finish his career without another defeat.

The term “save boxing” comes up a lot and there is the saying: “Where the heavyweight division goes, so too goes boxing.” If that holds true, then boxing may as well just pack it in. Wlad fights tall but he doesn’t fight big. Lennox Lewis, the man that perfected the style fought tall and big, and didn’t allow his opponents to escape or to run around infinitely. He was a former street fighter and that came out in the ring. Wlad, as I said in my pre fight breakdown, sees this as a sport, not a fight, and a win is a win, but his victory is a defeat for boxing.

Although Wlad’s follow, follow, follow style of fighting Saturday in Germany wasn’t anything positive for the game, Haye’s big talk and little walk was more irritating for fight fans. Haye has the skills, speed, and power to test Wlad, but he didn’t have the heart to chance it. He through looping shots every once in a while, which were really “get away from me” sort of shots and Wlad obliged. Haye lost his WBA title and a lot of credibility.

After the fight, Haye pointed to a broken toe as the reason and asked for a rematch. There is no reason to believe that a rematch would be any different. Wlad must move on and another heavyweight hopeful falls by the wayside of the Klitschko might.

What else is there? Is there hope for the heavyweight scene? I am not saying that the removal of the Klitschkos is the answer. Competition is. Muhammad Ali had Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Sonny Liston, George Foreman, Ron Lyle. Evander Holyfield had Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, and the list goes on and on. The Klitschko collective opponents list is not eye-catching. They have beaten the best of right now, but they have yet to defend against a guy that is on their level or can test them. Think of Ali without Frazier or the list of great fighters. What if Ali beat Eddie Chambers, Sam Peter, and Chris Arreola instead? You get it?

What does Wlad have that can test him at this stage of his career? There are several fighters that would step up to fight him, but none of them are seen as his equal or even as a real tough challenge.

Dereck Chisora, 14-0, 9 KO’s. He twice signed on to fight Wladimir Klitschko, but was pushed out by David Haye, and now faces fellow undefeated heavyweight Tyson Fury in a couple of weeks. Chisora, if he is anything to concern Wlad, will knock out Fury early. If he struggles, but wins, you can bet that Wlad will have a field day. Chisora has a punch and confidence and couldn’t do less than Haye, so we are promised a better fight.

Not so fat Chris Arreola, 32-2, 28 KO’s, has rededicated himself to boxing, fighting more regularly and avoiding the buffets. Arreola is tough and gritty, but still has the defensive flaws that would cost him with Wlad, BUT if he comes in motivated and presses, he is a legitimate challenge to the Klitschko rule, especially Wlad.

Bermane Stiverne, 21-1-1, 20 KO’s, has been feasting on the weak the majority of his career and actually lost to one of the set up opponents, a fourth round knockout loss at the hands of the 11-15, Demetrice King, but to his credit, he removed a heavyweight pain in the ass in Ray Austin. The man would not go away and would constantly get title eliminators under the guidance of Don King. Stiverne was losing the fight until he landed a right hand on Austin and ended it. Stiverne gets the winner of Adamek-Klitschko for the WBC Crown.

Tomasz Adamek, 44-1, 28 KO’s, is a former cruiserweight with heavyweight aspirations and has thus far been pretty good. He beat Michael Grant and Chris Arreola, and knocked out former championship contender, Andrew Golota, but he doesn’t seem to have the size to compete with the true super heavyweight class. There is an upside however. He’s facing the slow of foot Vitali, not Wlad, and if he’s going to bother one of them, it would be the older brother. If he can avoid the incoming, use his mobility, and make it into the later rounds, we are going to have some fun in Poland and may have a major upset.

Alexander Povetkin, 21-0, 15 KO’s, under the guidance of Teddy Atlas has been improving and Atlas is the right guy to make this good fighter a success. He’s smaller than the Klitschkos, but he has adopted the Tyson dip-left hook, and if he gets inside, he may have a chance to land it and stop either Wlad or Vitali. He signed to fight Wlad, but Atlas opted out of it, citing that he didn’t have enough time to develop his fighter. With fine tuning, Povetkin could win a title and shock the world.

Robert Helenius, 15-0, 10 KO’s, is a fighter that is generating a lot of attention lately and rightfully so. He is big, 6 feet, 6 inches, 240 pounds, and recently knocked out two former champions in Lamon Brewster (TKO-8) and Sam Peter (KO-9). The knockout of Peter was so dramatic and devastating, that Helenius moved to the top of the list of available contenders. He could be the future ruler of the division.

Cedric Boswell, 35-1, 26 KO’s, is not taken too seriously at 41 years old and hasn’t faced the best opposition, but he did recently defeat the tough former WBC Champion, Oliver McCall, and has not lost since 2003. He would be a good “stay busy” fight for either Klitschko, but doesn’t appear to be much of a threat.

David “Nino” Rodriguez, 35-0, 33 KO’s, is nowhere near a shot at the Klitschkos, and has feasted on no-hopers and the over the hill gang to achieve his record, but I should mention his last win over Owen Beck. Beck is shot, granted, and he was never that good to begin with, but when you knock somebody cold for 10 minutes, you can’t help but to get some attention. Rodriguez needs to step up the competition. He has been floating around the top 20 for years now, but has to face somebody a few levels higher then the opponents he’s been easily destroying. The jury is still out on Rodriguez.

There is a slight glimmer of hope for the division, but we will have to see if any of these above mentioned can step up and present a fight to the brothers Klitschko. It seems unlikely but there is hope.


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