Boxing


The Klitschkoís: Iím not jealous I just donít like them

10.16.04 - By Daniel Baguley: I think these days itís easy to look at things too deeply and look for a larger meaning or more elusive answer to things that donít require such thought. I accept deep thought has itís place but when it comes to the reasons why I dislike the worldís premiere heavyweight and the man who once was the ďheir apparentĒ I donít feel the need to use such mindfulness.

The Klitschkoís have been described as nice guys, intelligent guys, talented guys, diligent guys, man am I tired of that? Iím not particularly interested in all that as I donít see those as factors strong enough to hold this hysterical Klitschko bandwagon that has been in motion for the last three of four years.

Wladimir Klitschko did a pretty good job of kicking the supporting legs off his pedestal when getting KOíd twice in just over a year. The first of those two KOís came when he was completely humiliated in his adoptive home of Germany by Corrie Sanders. Then of course more recently he was made to sleep walk in an amazing loss to Lamon Brewster. Prior to the Sanders fight I had made my feelings about Wladimir clear and I had been predicting Jameel McCline to do the job of disposing of the worlds new heavyweight darling. Had he been a little more assertive and positive he may well have done but luckily these two attributes were something Sanders had in abundance when dropping Klitschko four times in an absolute slaughtering.

I felt the questions about Wladís ability to rule at the top were answered after that fight but we were then witness to another bad defeat at the hands of Lamon Brewster. The losses I can accept but I felt the manner in which Wladimir took that defeat most undesirable. He started spouting unfounded nonsense about conspiracies and drugging and he felt a high blood cell count further justified that. These do not sound like the actions of a nice or intelligent guy but more the moronic ranting of an overgrown spoilt brat who appears happy to bring the sport into disrepute to suit his own selfish needs. Well I could come up with a few theories myself as to why he lost which wouldnít stand him in such a favourable light especially with those blood test results, but whatís the point? I feel the above mentioned KOís along with the earlier KO loss to the ordinary Ross Purrity and the sour grapes involved with his most recent defeat are more than enough justification to withhold the accolades otherís seem to bestow upon him.

Add all that on top of the unsavoury manner in which he won his most recent fight and I think I can safely say Iím not a fan without being accused of being jealous!

So why donít I like Vitali then? Envy, fear, a feeling of inferiority when I see him? No itís way simpler than that, I donít rate him as highly as a fighter as others do. I accept him as the number one but I feel that says more about the current sorry state of the heavyweight division than it does of Klitschkoís ability. Before Wladís defeat to Sanders and his own fight with Lennox Lewis he was considered the slightly less talented older brother of the ďheir apparentĒ but none the less a stalwart of the Universum stable. But with the sudden halt of Wladís procession to the ultimate prize in sport the task was then placed upon Vitali to not only take that title but salvage some respect for the fighting familyís name.

This was something he, needless to say, took up with relish and got the chance to do it sooner than expected when getting a shot at the world heavyweight title against Lennox Lewis in the June of 2003. Although he didnít get the title in this fight he did, however, propel his own status within the division. In this fight he stood bravely with Lewis and battled in what was one of the most exciting heavyweight title fights in some time. He took and dished out in equal portions and at times looked as if he was about to do what many top fighters had failed to do before him. But, unfortunately for Vitali, the combination of delicate facial tissue and patent Lewis right hands meant he was unable to compete further and the fight was halted. His face looked like it had been through a shredder but he had wiped away the bad taste left by him quitting at the end of the ninth round against Chris Byrd when well ahead on the score cards.

After all that, youíre probably still wondering why I donít like Vitali. Well lets put it all in to context. The Lennox Lewis he lost too wasnít the same Lewis that had destroyed Mike Tyson in his previous fight. Although Vitali can only fight the opponent put in front of him, Lennox Lewis was overweight and unprepared but still won. Some may say it was controversial but I canít see how. If a fighter causes enough damage to their opponent with legitimate punches that the ref deems them unfit to continue then thatís a loss fair and square. I think a lot of the supposed controversy stems from the fact Vitali was ahead on all three scorecards, but itís his own fault he didnít defend himself well enough against Lewisí right hand. There wasnít just one cut by that eye, there were several.

Again, in a fashion not too dissimilar to brother Wladimir but maybe less outrageously, we had a Klitschko unable to take defeat with grace claiming head butts and fouls from an opponent who has been nothing but an outstanding and diligent representative of the sport and its rules. Apparently there were going to be appeals and all sorts but nothing came of it. Probably because once he and the Universum boys had actually sat and watched the tape properly they saw there were no such incidents. Iíve watched the tape a few times and I believe that Klitschko was on the verge of toppling at the end of the sixth round as he was holding on to Lewis and being dragged around with him.

Since that fight he has repeatedly called out Lewis and even after he announced his retirement Vitali still seems intent on getting it on with him again. If Vitali feels the need to make his name off a retired fighter then I think that says more about the man doing the calling. Iíve noticed Klitschko fans seem to dislike Lewis for some reason, which seems strange as a lot of the criticism levelled at Vitali in recent times was also aimed at Lennox early in his career. They (the fans) seem to want to begrudge Lennox of his legacy when neither Klitschko has one to speak of yet.

I again applaud Vitali for gaining the vacant title with his win over Sanders but the fashion with which he did it was hardly earth shattering stuff. There was little finesse involved and Sanders had Vitali on the run a few times in that fight. Klitschko throws a lot of arm punches and whilst I agree he makes the best of his faculties he is not an outstanding champion, which is why I give Danny Williams a better chance than most. I donít think Williams can win a twelve round decision over Klitschko, as I believe he would find the sheer presence of a man that size over that length of time too much to cope with. I think the first half of the fight is his time and I do believe he can hurt Klitschko and once he does he needs to follow up in a fashion similar to when he beat Tyson. If he gets Vitali over I donít think heíll get up again. The heavyweight division does have a future, I just donít believe it belongs to these two guys.

Article posted on 16.10.2004



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