Vladimir Klitschko - A World Class Heart
16.09.04 - By Izyaslav ďSlavaĒ Koza: You know, I read a lot of BS on how Vladimir Klitschko conducts himself outside the ring, and how he makes the sport of boxing look bad by creating mythical theories on par, if not greater, than the convoluted one about the mysterious bullet that shot Kennedy.
Article posted on 15.09.2004
With all the Judd Bernstein writing, Vaseline rubbing, toe stepping, Urine sample disappearing, Don King interfering, jokes aside, there is one aspect of Vladimirís character that I would like to focus on, and that is his behavior inside the ring. Inside the ring, Wladimir behaves with a 50ís era heart in the body of a 90ís super athlete that would put the godís of Olympus to shame.
Koza", you may ask, "have you gone off the deep end again trying to prove that the earth is square or something?" No, dear reader, I am quite serious in my assertion. To prove my point, I want to analyze a single aspect that in my opinion should be critical in determining the so called ďlegacy valueĒ of a fighter for years to come. Letís look at each of Vladís losses to see exactly what the hell I am talking about:.
The Ross Purrity loss - This was the prospective TKO heard round the world. Did Vlad Quit? Did he pull a Acelino Freitas? No, he stood in there until his trainer ran into the ring and caused the stoppage. This was after he savagely beat Purrity for 9 rounds or so.
Now, a lot of fans criticize Vladimir, because it is their assumption that some sort of excuse exists (i.e. he was too young, he tried too hard to get the knockout), and that the loss doesnít count. Believe me, there is no excuse for his loss to Purrity; it is quite obvious that Vladimir was defeated. The main argument is whether or not he was defeated by a better man, or by his own foolishness, and or youth?
The easiest way to answer that is to ask yourself what would happen if Vladimir met Ross ďthe BossĒ Purrity right now. It's pretty clear that it wasnít so much that Vladimir was defeated by someone better then him, but rather it was a matter of him trying to hard and using up all his energy by punching himself out. What is key, however, is that once Vladimir was being beaten in the last round of the fight, he resolved himself to stand in there, and take it like a man. Notice, it has nothing to do with his skill, but his willingness and determination to try until the last. If that isnít a throwback, what is?
The Lamon Brewster loss - Unchronologically speaking, this loss came onto Vladís resume after his knockout loss to the devastating puncher, Corrie Sanders, but there is a reason for why it shows up here. Again, Vladimir mercilessly punished Brewster, but this time, Vladimir succumbed much earlier than before. After putting Brewster down on the canvas not once, but twice (yes, the slip was a knockdown as well, in my opinion), Vladimir completely deteriorated in the following round. This, however, is not the discussion at hand. The question is, what did Vladimir do after he realized he was outer then Ellen Degeneres? After the ref gave Vladimir a mercy count, did Vladimir claim that he could not continue? Did he claim that the ref pushed him down (I never did understand what Chris Byrd complained about when Ike Ibeabuchi kissed him with that vicious uppercut) No, Vladimir half consciously nodded to the ref and intimated that he was ok, and came out to take a beating that put him on the canvas for good. Forget the conspiracy theories and all that other stuff, just look at the fact of what Vladimir did in the ring as he was losing. Even the great Mike Tyson, who doesnít go down unless you hit him with a sledge hammer, never gets up when he knows all is lost. Here was Vladimir, who knew for a fact that he had nothing left. His arms were completely limp, and his legs felt like folding. His muscular frame was leaning on his ribs like an old man leaning on a walker, and yet even when there was no chance, Vladimir still got up and nodded he wanted to continue.
The Corrie Sanders Loss - This is the only one of the 3 losses that I believe has a likelihood of repeating itself if their was a rematch. Vladimir came into the fight taking his opponent lightly, and got totally demolished in two rounds. There were no excuses or theories for why he lost, but crushing left hand bombs that knocked Vladimir down and around every time. It was a wholesale slaughter of the innocent lamb, if their ever was one. However, yet again, with each knockdown Vladimir got up like the warrior that he is, and even as the referee waved it off, Wladimir beat the count.
The point here, is not whether or not Vladimir has a weak chin, or whether or not his stool sample was lost in the mix. It's about the fact that he has a world class heart. In an era when some guys, like Derrick Gainer, look for an excuse to quit, and guys like Acelino Freitas just wave it off, Vladimir keeps getting up. Call this a fan boys rose colored glasses look at it, but it's backed up by video tape evidence. Wladimir ainít no quitter and thatís the truth of the matter.
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