Boxing


Wladimir Klitschko Wins But Still Lacks “Something”

klitschko13.07.08 - By Bill Calogero -- click here for Klitschko-Thompson photo gallery -- Wladimir Klitschko (photo: www.klitschko.com) knocked out Tony Thompson at 1:22 of the eleventh round in another questionable performance retaining his IBF, WBO & IBO Heavyweight Titles Saturday night. The bout was broadcast live on HBO from the Color Line Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

In what was a one-sided fight, Wladimir Klitschko used his pawing jab, followed by his powerful right hand to methodically break down Tony Thompson en route to a not so exciting match-up.

Until the end of the bout, it appeared that Thompson was able to withstand Klitschko’s best shots. The problem was that he (Thompson) simply was not throwing enough punches and when he did, there was absolutely no snap or power behind them..

In the first round, Thompson won the round on my scorecard by landing several solid lefts that landed flush on the face of Klitschko. His awkward style seemed to bother Wladimir and at the close of the round, I for one was beginning to think that this could be the upset most fans, including myself, were hoping for. Unfortunately for me, it was Thompson’s only round he would win on my un-official scorecard.

For the remainder of the fight, Thompson appeared to be a sparring partner and look to survive the fight, rather than mount any type of attack or even throw meaningful punches. Even though Thompson’s performance was strictly to help him survive, Wladimir Klitschko failed to dominate in an exciting manner.

Wladimir was able to throw and land his right hand all night but seemed to be open during most of the fight. Thompson’s failure to capitalize on this was Klitschko’s main advantage and helped him secure the win. Wladimir Klitschko improves to 51-3 (45 KOs).

Tony Thompson earned the biggest payday of his career, bringing home $500,000, while dropping his record to 31-2 (19 KO’s). When he gets a chance to review the tape, I am sure he will regret not capitalizing on a legitimate opportunity of beating the, in my opinion, very over-rated Wladimir Klitschko.

Wladimir Klitschko had a brilliant amateur career. He is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion and currently holds three World Titles and is the closest Heavyweight we have to a Unified Heavyweight Champion Of The World today.

Why is it then do I (from my dealings and or conversations) and so many others believe that Klitschko is not what we truly want as our Heavyweight Champion Of The World?

He certainly has the pedigree. As a pro, he has fought everyone put in front of him and for the most part, has not dodged anyone. He has come up off the canvas to win. He has avenged his loss to Lamon Brewster and has fought over 20 of his fights against either Top-Ten World Ranked fighters, World Title Challengers and former or current World Heavyweight Champions. He always comes to fight in great shape. He is a “good” guy. He does great things for the community. He is intelligent. He is good looking. He is marketable.

Then what’s the problem?

In my opinion, what Wladimir is lacking is the simple fact that he is not a “character”. Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, John L Sullivan, Jack Johnson, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, to name a few, were all characters. They were World Heavyweight Champions that people related to for some reason or another. They were fighters that people either loved or loved to hate. Some did good things, some did bad things, some did crazy things or did things for a purpose, but anyway you looked at it, all people, not just “boxing people” knew who they were and what they stood for.

They were the Heavyweight Champion Of The World. They were the toughest man on the planet and most people, regardless of their race, religion, age or status in society, could relate and follow these past greats. When these types of Champions held the most sought after title in the World, EVERYONE could tell you who the World Heavyweight Champion was. How many non-boxing people can tell you that Wladimir Klitschko is the closest man we have right now that can or should be labeled “The Heavyweight Champion Of The World”?

Wladimir is missing “something”. He is not the best fighter out there. After watching his fight with Thompson, I for one am convinced that most heavyweights out there right now, in the top five in ANY of the four major sanctioning bodies, can beat him. He does not come across as being un-stoppable. He does not come across, as being over powering, when based on his size and athletic ability, should be. He is not a guy that puts “fear” in other fighters, nor does he get the buzz around him as did past World Heavyweight Champions.

Although Wladimir Klitschko has plenty of character, he is not “a character”. I believe that this is the biggest reason he does not have nor received the recognition that he may deserve. Then again, I for one think he is extremely over-rated. I think he is just “holding” onto the titles until the real World Heavyweight Champion Of The World” emerges. Who, when and where that will be, is still anyone’s guess. Hopefully, Wladimir is NOT the best out there because if he is, the Heavyweight Division is in trouble for a long time.

I am VERY curious to hear feedback on this. I want to know what you think. Let me know if I am wrong, right, or better yet, I want to know what you think the problem may be. I encourage anyone who cares to voice his or her opinion to drop me an email at Billy@TalkinBoxing.com.

And while you are at it, am I the only one who thinks it’s about time, and long over due that Larry Merchant retire…for real? Does he make any sense anymore?

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To listen to full discussions on this fight and all other boxing news, tune into www.GoFightLive.TV and watch or listen to the “Billy C Morning Show” every day or the “Talkin Boxing With Billy C” Radio Program Wednesday nights. For all information, please visit www.TalkinBoxing.com.

Article posted on 14.07.2008



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