Boxing


Wladimir Klitschko outclasses Eddie Chambers!

Klitschkoby Geoffrey Ciani –- click here to view Klitschko-Chambers photo gallery -– It was a vintage performance by Wladimir Klitschko. Early in the second round of his title defense against Eddie Chambers, Wladimir was hoisted up by his smaller opponent and body slammed to the canvas like a wrestler. If Chambers was trying to illustrate that he was not intimidated by Klitschko’s superior size, he seemingly failed. On the contrary, the move appeared to infuriate Klitschko who soon began fighting at a more intense pace than we are accustomed to seeing from him in the early rounds. Klitschko landed a big right hand later in the second which buckled Chambers’ knees. From this point forward, Chambers was essentially in survival mode.

This fight followed the familiar pattern established in most of Klitschko’s recent contests. He controlled the action with his jab while mixing in the occasional right hand. As the rounds progressed, Klitschko succeeded in softening his opponent. Clearly ahead on the scorecards after ten rounds, Klitschko’s trainer Emanuel Steward urged his fighter to go for the knockout. This was a difficult task, however.. Chambers was in a defensive shell just trying to survive to the final bell. At the start of the twelfth round, Steward again urged Klitschko to go for the knockout, warning him that this could be perceived as another Ibragimov fight. This time the encouragement paid off. Klitschko landed a big left hook in the final seconds of the fight which sent Chambers down for the count.

Just five days shy of his 34th birthday, Klitschko appears to be getting better with age. Under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward, Wladimir has transformed into a virtual machine inside the ring. If boxing is the art of hitting without being hit, Wladimir is a true artist of the sport. He rarely loses rounds, he rarely gets hit, and he always fights intelligently. On the outside he is as dominant as they come, always able to control the action and the distance with his jab. If someone tries to rough him up on the inside, he uses his octopus-like arms to effectively tie his opponent up. This style of fighting, while not always pretty and not especially exciting, is very effective for Wladimir. He is a master at controlling the ring and maintaining his range, and he no longer panics like he did earlier in his career when forced to step backwards. Wladimir is very good at what he does.

This begs the question, who can pose a real threat to Klitschko? Chambers was widely viewed as the best American heavyweight in the world and Klitschko made easy work of him. Before him, Ruslan Chagaev was perceived as somewhat of a threat and he was even less competitive than Chambers. Now a lot of people are viewing David Haye as a genuine threat, but the reality is Wladimir would probably make quick work of Haye and—outside of a puncher’s chance—Haye has nothing on Klitschko. A fight with Haye would probably generate a lot of interest because of Hay’s trash-talking ways but once inside the ring Haye would probably get outclassed. The sad reality is that there is nobody out there who can make Klitschko fight. The only person who might be able to pose a challenge is his older brother Vitali but that fight is not likely to happen.

Klitschko now has eight successful defenses of the IBF championship he won from Chris Byrd in April 2006, which also includes four defenses of the WBO championship he reclaimed from Sultan Ibragimov in February 2008. If Klitschko keeps winning and dominating, it is only a matter of time before his name enters the discussion of best heavyweights ever. The only things holding Klitschko back now are earlier losses in his career which some observers are unable to forgive, and more importantly, the lack of a ‘mega-fight’ on the near horizon. The best thing for Wladimir would be for David Haye to score an impressive knockout victory when he defends his WBA title against John Ruiz in two weeks. If he can win in spectacular fashion than perhaps Klitschko can have something bordering on a ‘mega-fight’ later this year. Either way, as long as he keeps winning he will continue building a legacy, even if it slips under the notice of his contemporaries.

***

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To contact Ciani:
ciani@eastsideboxing.com

To read more by Ciani please visit The Mushroom Mag:
http://www.eatthemushroom.com/mag

Article posted on 21.03.2010



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