Boxing


Klitschko Claims Title When Peter Quits On Stool After 8

klitschko vs peter11.10.08 - By Joe Mills -photo by Sumio Yamada -- Vitali Klitschko’s three year journey has culminated in his regaining of the WBC Heavyweight championship with an impressive 8th round retirement of Samuel Peter. Klitschko displayed little in the way of ill effects resulting from his lengthy exodus from the ring, barely losing a minute of this one-sided clash.

Vitali entered Berlin’s imposing 02 World Arena with holographic renderings of past greats including George Foreman and former foe Lennox Lewis looking on, and while it will take more than this evening’s showing to put his name among them he displayed excellent championship credentials in the fight.. If all goes to plan in his second career he could well find his name mentioned in the exalted company of Tyson, Frazier and Holyfield, the other holographic heroes depicted.

It would be redundant to offer a round-by-round analysis of the action as every session followed the same pattern. “Dr Ironfist” kept his jab in Peter’s face all night, while the vanquished champion moved in straight lines, unsure of how to overcome his taller opponent. Vitali would tee off with the right hook whenever the opportunity presented itself and his punching looked very crisp for a man making his return to the ring after a lengthy lay-off. Certainly no rust was visible in his performance, except for maybe a touch of open-mouthed breathing in what transpired to be the final round of the fight.

It would be easy to get carried away by Klitschko’s dominant showing but the truth is “The Nigerian Nightmare” was incredibly flat this evening, and seemed to be short of ideas right from the opening bell. He tamely stalked Klitschko for most of the fight, only occasionally unleashing a worthy flurry. The round given to him by one of the judges was beyond generous, bordering on Unicef levels of charity. The outgoing titlist’s decision to quit was a surprising one but perhaps a wise one as well, he wasn’t troubling his opponent in the slightest and cannot be blamed for wanting to avoid further damage. The real damage from this showing however is likely to be on his reputation rather than his health, for a champion lambasted for being limited in the past, this showing could finally put an end to the fearsome aura he built before his fight with the younger Klitschko brother, Wladimir, three years ago.

For Vitali it seems the world is at his feet, he not only reclaimed what was once his, but he realised his dream of being a World champion concurrently with his brother, and looked excellent in doing so. Perhaps a fight with WBA title holder Nikolai Valuev beckons in the future. Both brothers have rebuffed suggestions that they go up against each other in the future, which makes title unification unlikely. The clamour is there, and the money could surely be found, but brotherly love will surely deny us of the banner division’s biggest fight. However the division is sure to be a more interesting place now that Vitali Klitschko has returned.

Article posted on 12.10.2008



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