Boxing


Samuel Peter lost before he entered the ring

12.10.08 - by Armstrong Okobia - On the 11th October 2008, the boxing world witnessed history in the making when Vitali Klitschko captured the WBC crown via a TKO in the 8th round. But had Vitali already won before the gloves were laced? Certain things seem to have been in his favour and hammered the forgone conclusion of many boxing experts..

The location

I hope that Samuel Peter got paid well for deciding to defend his title in Klitschko country. What were his mangers thinking, if they were thinking at all. Itʼs a known fact that its virtually impossible to come out of Germany with a decision and the odds of Samuel knocking Vitali out were as big as a Vitali Lennox rematch. Virtually zero. This was the first in a chain of events that made it a losing effort for Samuel right from the get go. When Samuel was introduced there was practically no cheering at all. That has to do something to your mind.

The PR machine

The Klitschko PR maching was in full effect. The last couple of days prior to the fight, saw more and more of indirect intimidation to make Samuel feel as less welcome as possible. In one particular photo shoot they incited that Vitali should take pictures with the WBC belt. A challenger taking pictures with the championʼs belt? Not heard off, till last week.

Ring Introduction

The ring introduction was the final nail in the coffin. They used computer simulated images of past champions (Frazier, Holyfield, Lewis and Tyson) who each wished Vitali success and said that they knew he could do it. Even his nemisis Lennox Lewis had inspiring things to say, with Iron Mike closing out to say that he was always a fan of Dr. Iron Fist. Strange and practically unprecedented such an entrance. Im sure that it must have gone a long way in boosting Samuelsʼ moral (not) when past champions are wishing the challenger luck. I even spotted Riddick Bowe in the crowd waving a Ukranian flag.

In the Air

The fact that Vitali was being touted as the new champion was in the air so thick that there should have been a humidity warning. I pondered within myself what effect this would have on the judges. How would they score a close round, as this would usually go to the champion. Somehow I didnʼt see the judges doing that. Vitali however solved that issue for us.

Conclusion

Now donʼt get me wrong, I also favoured Vitali for this fight and felt that if anything, the person who would depict the outcome would be Vitali. If the long lay off had taken its toll in the form of lost technique and general ring rust, then Samuel Peter could squeak out a decision. But a B grade Vitali beats an A+ Samuel Peter any day. He is just that good and without a doubt the better of the Klitschko brothers. What I am saying is that based on the above, Samuel Peter had no chance. He was a defeated fighter even before he entered the ring and he fought the same way during the fight. For those who saw the fight, saw a fighter who had no spirit to fight and got pounded into this realisation. Samuel quit not because he was hurt. He quit because he realised with all the odds against him he couldnʼt win.

Future

To the point, there is none at this moment. Vitali will hold on to the belt like a child cuddling his teddy bear before going to bed and his parents at the WBC find it such a cute sight that they are not willing to break this intimate union. This is heartbreaking for true boxing fans. What makes it worst, is that the HW division was already in shambles. I would love to see him fight a David Haye, simply because it would be good for the division and boxing. Heck, I would like to see him fight, period. For those labelling Vitaliʼs showing as superb better look again. I saw many flaws in his technique. This was not the same guy who made Lennox dig deep to win. I saw a Vitali whose timing was off and for a large part of fight was off balance when going back. Whenever Samuel jabbed him to the chest, which is what he should have been doing to set his timing and balance off, you saw him jostle to find his footing. Now there will be those who say its rings rust, could be, but I donʼt buy it. The question is, was Vitali that good or was Samuel that bad? I think it was the latter.

Article posted on 12.10.2008



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