EPIX aired three heavyweight title bouts recently, featuring the Klitschko brothers defending their titles and Alexander Povetkin defending his title. After watching the bouts, not much has changed as far as the heavyweight landscape goes, but there were some interesting things that should be noted.
Alexander Povetkin W-MD12 Marco Huck
Moving up to heavyweight, cruiserweight champion Marco Huck took his shot at the WBA Heavyweight Champion, Alexander Povetkin, and would lose a majority decision. Former trainer, Teddy Atlas, kept Povetkin far away from Wladimir Klitschko, and after this fight, it was easy to see why. Huck beat up the champion and would have probably stopped him had it not been for bias officiating. At the end of the fight, there was little doubt as to who won the fight, but they gave it to the champion in a horrible majority decision win. If Huck can land his right hand with regularity, imagine how quickly Wladimir would flatten him.
Povetkin has a defense against Hasim Rahman next, a fight that I initially thought was pretty absurd. Rahman has done nothing to earn a title shot, but after watching Huck, if “The Rock” has 40% of his ability left and has retained his big right hand, he may just take a title back. Povetkin is not a true champion. He’s been maneuvered into a title. Tomasz Adamek, Dereck Chisora, David Haye, Robert Helenius, Tony Thompson, and Chris Arreola would beat him and that’s just naming a few. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that knows this and that is why they are dragging Rahman out of the nursing home to face him next.
Wladimir Klitschko KO-4 Jean Marc Mormeck
When this fight was first announced, I had hoped that they were taking the right precautions. They should have backed an ambulance up to the ring and got a big spatula ready to scrape Mormeck off of the floor. Wladimir, the true WBA Champion, WBO champion, IBF Champion, and IBO Champion is nearly unstoppable at this point in his career and especially so when you look at the mediocrities that make up the top 10 ready to oppose him.
Mormeck talked a big game before the fight. Talk of training like Mike Tyson and shocking the world were heard, but as he stood in that ring across from Wlad, I felt bad for him. He had this look of absolute dread on his face. He must have known that he struggled with over the hill journeymen like Timur Ibragimov, Fres Oquendo and Vinny Maddalone, and now he was facing a monster with a huge punch. Mormeck wasn’t even a good puncher at heavyweight. What could he possibly do? The answer was nothing. He didn’t even try. He never threw a punch. He just waited for the bomb to land and it did. Wlad had, perhaps, the easiest fight of his career.
Next up for Wlad is a rematch with Tony Thompson. Although Thompson may be the best American heavyweight, he froze in his first encounter with Klitschko, but he did do much better than most in recent memory. If he has taken what he learned, comes in motivated, and puts pressure on the champion, maybe he can be more effective and pull off a huge upset. It’s a long shot, but he’s Joe Louis compared to Mormeck. I hope he comes into the fight fit and ambitious.
Vitali Klitschko W-UD12 Dereck Chisora
There were two winners in this fight. The first was Vitali Klitschko, who held onto his WBC Heavyweight Title. The other was Chisora, the bad boy of boxing that slapped Vitali at the stare down and spit water into the face of Wladimir. I know it was the wrong thing to do, but Chisora is a character and has charisma and the guts to back it up in the ring. He may have a record of 15-3, 9 KO’s, but he gave Vitali all he could handle and should have gotten the nod over Robert Helenius, a fight he controversially lost.
His other loss was an embarrassing one to Tyson Fury, where he came in totally unmotivated and out of shape. It’s hard to imagine Fury winning or even going the distance with a prime and ready Chisora.
Vitali has talked about unfinished business with Chisora. He wants to punish him and stop him for his antics prior to the fight, but he may have a showdown with David Haye to deal with first. Another possibility is Chisora taking on Haye and Vitali shopping around for another opponent. Haye and Chisora got a lot of press for the fist fight in public and they may want to capitalize on that and make this fight. Most likely, Haye will face Vitali and lose again and Chisora really has the world opened up to him. He can take on anyone and the people will watch. He made quite an impression in his courageous effort in the ring and his antics leading up to the fight.
The true champion in the heavyweight division is Wladimir Klitschko with Vitali being the #1 contender to the title, a fight that will never happen and would be glorified sparring if it did. Povetkin may rank in the top 10, but he cannot be considered a champion. He eked by Ruslan Chagaev to take the title…a title that Wladimir already had! The WBA made Wlad a “super champ” which allowed them to create a “normal champ” and get more sanctioning fees and muddle up boxing all that much more.
W. Klitschko vs. Thompson, V. Klitschko vs. Haye and with guys like Chisora, Chris Arreola, Robert Helenius, Seth Mitchell, Bermane Stiverne, Denis Boytsov, Alexander Ustinov, and David Price, there are some things budding in the division. If one Klitschko will lose, it will most likely be Vitali, judging by his recent performances, but this is the heavyweight division. Anything is possible.