06.03.07 - By Sam Gregory: On Saturday March 10th number one heavyweight contender Wladimir Klitschko 47-3 (42 KO’s) will defend his IBF and IBO title belts against mandatory heavyweight boxing challenger Ray Austin 24-3-4 (16 KO’s) at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany. This scheduled 12 round heavyweight fight will be televised on HBO at 4:45 PM ET/ 1:45 PM PT. 36 year old challenger from Cleveland, Ohio Ray Austin got to this fight by way of an elimination bout. The 6’6” heavyweight contender is reportedly in the shape of his life having dropped over 30 lbs in an eight week training camp with world renowned trainer Stacy McKinley..
Article posted on 07.03.2007
Austin reported to camp with McKinley just after New Years day weighing 270 lbs, it’s reported that he now weighs about 240 lbs.
McKinley is known for the work he’s done with Mike Tyson but most notably and more recently is said to have “transformed” Samuel Peter in preparation for his rematch with James Toney.
Austin said in relation to his training with McKinley, size will make the difference in this fight. He also accused Klitschko of fighting undersized and under-experienced opponents. McKinley said about his training Austin, “The big step was balance. The improvement in footwork followed by better balance will yield quicker, more powerful punching in this fight.”
Klitschko has tasted defeat three times in his boxing career; first when he ran out of gas early in his career against American Ross Puritty and was stopped in the 11th round. Than in March of 2003 Klitschko was stopped in the second round by Corrie Sanders than again ran out of gas and was stopped in the 5th round by Lamon Brewster in April of 04’.
Klitschko likes to say his career was “resurrected” in September of 05’ after he climbed off the canvas three times in his title eliminator fight with Samuel Peter.
Klitschko told the AP, “Many thought I would never come back from the devastation of the Brewster defeat. You see, I never lost my confidence. The ups and downs of the past have made me love this sport.”
Austin has been quoted as saying, “Klitschko has a soft heart and a weak chin and I’m going to knock him out.” Austin’s trainer Stacey McKinsey said, “Klitschko has a history of having problems with taller heavier men. Ray Austin is a dangerous man in the condition he is in today.”
To that Klitschko said, “Height does not make a difference in this fight.” Wladimir’s trainer Manny Steward said, after one minute of the first round everything will change for Ray Austin when he realizes who he is in the ring with; Wladimir is on a different level.”
Steward continued, “Those watching the fight are going to be lucky enough to see the emergence of one of the greatest heavyweights ever.”
The smartest words anybody had to say came out of Klitschko’s mouth when he concluded with, “We should stop talking about it, let’s have the fight.”
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