Emanuel Steward: “Wladimir Klitschko would knock Haye out within four rounds”
by Geoffrey Ciani - This past week’s edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward who is best known for his work with Tommy Hearns and Lennox Lewis. Steward also currently trains reigning unified heavyweight champion of the world Wladimir Klitschko who recently stopped “Fast” Eddie Chambers by twelfth round knockout. Emanuel spoke about a variety of topics, including Wladimir’s performance against Chambers, a potential fight between Wladimir and David Haye, and the upcoming mega fight between Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Junior. Here are some excerpts from that interview:
On his assessment of how he rates Klitschko’s performance against Chambers:
“I give him a B. It was a B. It was a good performance. It could have been better because of what his ability is compared to what he did, but it was still good. He went out and did what he was asked to do and he got the knockout. Chambers isn’t the easiest guy to fight, either. He spends his time mostly about, like 80% on the defensive mental mode—covering up, running away, hands over his head. It was very difficult to fight guys like that especially when you have a guy like Wladimir who’s a really technical, super intelligent, thinking fighter himself. So I had to do what I had to do the last two rounds to just try to push him out of his regular mode and he got really upset and all emotional and anxiety and then he went out and performed, but it was something I had to do. That’s my job as a trainer—to do what I have to do to get my fighter to get the best performance and I appreciate the fact that he did respond and he went and did what he was supposed to do..”
His views on Klitschko going forward:
“I think based on this performance here and his own conversations with me in the recent days that he realizes that he is actually too reluctant, too intelligent, too technical—that I think you’re going to see a much more aggressive fighter in Wladimir. If this man actually would just operate with close to 80%—he’s only operating with about 60%—he would be the most devastating heavyweight in the history of boxing because I’ve worked with him. Never, ever, ever have I been involved with a fighter who has so much one punch punching power. Even guys that knock somebody out—they get them hurt, they knock them down, they get them groggy—Wladimir is the only fighter I’ve ever worked with that everything can be normal like a big party—everybody is having champagne, on the floors, in the tuxedos, with the music—and the lights go off completely at one time. I mean it’s not like a gradual dimmer switch. I never saw anyone who knocked out people in a gym when they block punches and he did that about three weeks ago with a sparring partner—two weeks ago, prior to the fight. With a sparring partner he threw a left hook, the sparring partner blocked the punch and with twenty ounce gloves he was still knocked out. He has unbelievable one punch punching power and that’s why maybe he doesn’t put combinations together because he punches so effectively and with so much power with one punch, but his handicap and problem is he feints too much. He wants everything to be perfect—perfect balance, perfect this, and the last round he was a little overly aggressive, got out of position a few times, but to go three minutes with a guy with his power is like a lifetime because even if he just grazes you with a punch, you’re going to be hurt.”
His views on Wladimir’s punching power:
“What makes him really special also is he has so much power in the late rounds. A lot of guys, great punchers like (Mike) Tyson, they were great in the early rounds but very seldom in the late rounds. Wladimir has knocked out guys like he did with Chris Byrd, and (Ray) Austin, and Eliseo Castillo—he knocked those guys out early because he threw a punch early, an early power punch. And then he’s had the power to go out after being down three times with Sam Peter and he had him out on his feet in the twelfth round of a very grueling fight with one single punch, a left hook. Then he knocked out Thompson. With Tony Thompson he ran across the ring and threw one straight right hand in the eleventh round and just walked away, and Thompson went down totally finished. Now he knocks out this guy in the twelfth round with ten or twelve seconds left with one punch. To have a fighter that has that kind of devastating one punch clean knockout power is so much stress on the opponent because you’re never safe.”
On a potential fight between Klitschko and David Haye:
“I would love to see that fight because David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko are the only two heavyweights that have explosive power—speed and one punch punching power. If they ever fight, because I don’t know if David wants the fight. He became a big name only by bragging about what he would do the Klitschkos, and drawing cartoon characters and cutting off heads and putting them on t-shirts—but he has never fought a quality heavyweight or did anything. He became a big celebrity just by talking about what he would do to a Klitschko and then he ran away from both fights. Nevertheless, he still is a very hot guy to fight as far as I’m concerned, and I still like the idea of him and Wladimir because they both have tremendous explosive punching power and speed.”
On whether he believes people are counting out Shane Mosley in his May 1 showdown with Floyd Mayweather Junior:
“Oh definitely. I have Mosley and Mayweather a dead even fight. The one good thing is that Shane is, first of all, to me is the first really live physical match-up fight that I think that really that Floyd has fought in about five or six years. I mean I looked at (Arturo) Gatti—I’m not trying to knock Gatti—Gatti was a good fight when he fought another brawler or another guy on his level who was exciting, but anytime he stepped up and fought class boxers he always lost because he could never deal with intelligent fighters. Oscar, you know, fights with Floyd and I cannot believe how he fought such a fight not using his talent, but nevertheless, people forget it was a split decision because Oscar was still just tall enough to use the jab in the early part and that bothered Floyd because Floyd’s defense of just rolling his shoulders and bending back is okay if you got small guys, but guys who have long enough arms to reach over and hit him he had to really fight with them and that was only a split decision. Shane matches up with him in size as a full welterweight and also Shane has good speed—maybe not as fast as Floyd but there’s not that much of a disparity. I think the intensity and the challenge that Shane brings into this fight is going to make Floyd Mayweather show his greatness or he could totally be dominated and look very inferior. He won’t be anywhere in between, he’ll go to one extreme or the other and I think that Shane may be the dark horse so to say in this whole situation because he could easily be a big threat and possibly beat Floyd and (Manny) Pacquiao. Shane is an old school fighter who fights with a lot of intensity, has speed, has shown a good chin and he’s going to be very well prepared. I just think that this is going to be maybe one of the best fights in a long time but I think this is the fight that will make Floyd Mayweather show his greatness or show his weakness—because he won’t be in between. He must fight in this fight.”
On how he would go about training Mosley if he were Mosley’s trainer in his fight with Mayweather:
“Well I think he’s got a very good trainer working with him now in Naseem Richardson and he will need to jab and apply a lot of pressure but not necessarily when Floyd bends back, beating all along his elbows and the ribs throwing a lot of wasted punches which Oscar did. The biggest thing that will be a problem for Floyd is the jab—pressure, jab, pressure, jab, and once you get inside, then you throw punches because Shane is just big enough where his arms are long enough and he’s tall enough where he would have a problem avoiding Shane’s punches by just rolling his shoulder and sticking his head back to the ropes. But the thing that goes for Floyd is Floyd has good hand speed but he also has good foot speed, too, and Shane is really not known for his footwork. Floyd can move around, stop on a dime, punch in and out, catlike reflexes—maybe not throw the volume of punches that Shane throws, but he’s a very, very accurate pinpoint puncher and he has ability to move and change directions a lot. A slight edge would go to Mayweather because of the foot speed and the pinpoint accurate punches, but I think that Shane will, even though Floyd may have that advantage over him in those areas, I think Shane is still fast enough and has enough intensity and anger in him that he’s still going to force Mayweather to bring him out of his comfort zone and make him really have to sit there and show his greatness, and if he does—maybe what he’s been saying is, he’s one of the greatest welterweight fighter of all time even though he won’t fight a welterweight. So this is the first time he’s really fighting a really world class welterweight fighter.”
On which fight he believes fans would enjoy more—Mosley vs. Pacquiao or Mayweather vs.Pacquiao:
“Mosley-Pacquiao or Mayweather-Pacquiao? Mosley-Pacquiao, Mosley-Pacquiao, Mosley-Pacquiao. I mean you know that Shane is going to bring it to you, I mean that’s him. There’s no way he’s going to run from anybody or try to be technical and if things get rough he’s still going to fight. Even in his losses to basically Winky Wright, who he had no business fighting because he was physically way too big, and Vernon Forrest, which was a tall rangy type guy and I know he lost to (Miguel) Cotto but I won’t even go into this because that was a close fight—but still, there’s no way you’re going to get anything but pure explosive excitement with Pacquiao and Mosley. But the fight based on the hype, the interest, and the hunger of the fans is still Mayweather and Pacquiao, but the true, true really explosive fight that the true fight fans would look forward to would be with Shane Mosley and Pacquiao. But still, the media and the press and everybody is going to make the fight if it’s possible with Pacquiao and Mayweather because of the anticipation and the marquee value and all of the hype—but the pure, pure fight is with Shane Mosley.”
His views on the upcoming fight between David Haye and John Ruiz:
“I pick David to win because everything is going in his direction now with the speed and youth, but if I was a betting person I would have it like 6:5 that’s all, or 7:5. I don’t know how odds go because I never bet on a fight but I see it as that type of fight. It’s his home town, his area, his crowd—the momentum and movement and everything is with him, but still, Ruiz is a solid fighter, he’s a real heavyweight not a super heavyweight, he has a good chin and I don’t know that David has all of the gifted movements and the great coordination like Roy Jones had to stay for twelve rounds and move and not get hit, because the biggest problem I have with him is just his chin. When he got knocked down by Monte Barrett I said, ‘Oh my God’. So that’s the situation. A lot of people believe that he is going to go out and just blow Ruiz away, and maybe he will—I wish that that would happen—but I have him a slight favorite and that’s about it.”
On how he sees a fight between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye going should it happen:
“Well Wladimir would knock him out within four rounds because this is one of the few guys who Wladimir has a lot of animosity I guess and anger and he would be extremely aggressive very much like he was with Chris Byrd in their second fight, but I think until it happens—the knockout or whatever, which I think will happen within four rounds—it would be a very explosive exciting fight. You got two guys who are known for explosive punching power, great speed, and both of them reputedly got weak chins so it would be a great excitement fight. But I think that Wladimir’s size and a strong left jab would be too much in addition to the fact that Wladimir has that tremendous short punching power with both the left hand and the right hand. I think that would be a little too much for David to overcome, but in the meantime, he has the ability to knockout Wladimir if he can catch him, too, because he does punch hard and he does punch fast and he does punch freely. As soon as he gets into range he will let his punches go. He doesn’t hesitate, so it’s a fight as a fan I would love to see.”
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Article posted on 26.03.2010
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