Boxing


The Heavyweight Division Comes Alive With Two Big Fights: Klitschko-Haye And Klitschko-Adamek This Summer

By James Slater: While both Klitschko brothers have been dominant, fight-all-comers world champions, they have not, in the opinion of some fans, been exciting to watch. Due largely to the fact that no challenger that fought either sibling was capable of pushing them, Wladimir and Vitali have, for the past five years or so, won and won easily; some say predictably. From Samuel Peter to Kevin Johnson, from Juan Carlos Gomez to Ruslan Chagaev, no challenger has come close to bringing out the best in either “Doctor.” This could change this summer, however.

As fans know, two big fights involving Wladimir and Vitali were announced yesterday. Wladimir, the Ring magazine, IBF, IBO and WBO king, will defend against WBA ruler David Haye in Germany in July, while WBC champ Vitali will meet former cruiserweight champ and unbeaten heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek in Poland in September. These two match-ups have fans excited again about the heavyweight division; in a big, big way.

For though most fans seem to feel neither Haye nor Adamek has a great chance of beating the two respective rulers, many are willing to predict that both the Pole and the Brit will at least test the two Klitschkos; maybe even make them fight harder than they’ve had to in years. Haye, like “Goral” a former 200-pound ruler, has genuine power - power that his followers say can not only trouble Wladimir and make him “fight scared,” but knock him spark out. Even those people who are saying “Dr. Steel Hammer” will definitely win concede that “The Hayemaker” at least has a puncher’s chance. Certainly, you will be hard pressed to find a Wladimir fan willing to bet his life savings on their man winning and retaining his belts. Haye is fast and dangerous, and don’t think for a second that Wladimir doesn’t know it.

Sure to end in a KO, one way or the other, Klitschko-Haye seems to have captured the imagination more so than Klitschko-Adamek has. But this fight also is a potentially rough night for the Klitschko name.

Adamek, no big-hitter as a heavyweight, and some say too small to be able to compete against Vitali, has in his favour a big advantage in speed - remember, the champion will have turned the age of 40 come fight time. Possessing a good chin, some say a more reliable chin than Haye has, Adamek has also shown a good work-rate as a heavy, and he has fast hands. Vitali, as great as he is, has to “go” sometime; will his age catch up with him against the challenger who figures to hit and move, frustrate and pester, for as long as he can in September? It is easy to envisage Adamek piling up a significant points lead, at least for a few rounds.

What happens when the often slow-starting “Dr. Iron Fist” gets fully into his groove and begins catching the smaller man’s chin will prove to be extremely interesting. If, and it may be a big if, Adamek can somehow manage to survive and carry on with his game-plan, the big outdoor crowd could well be treated to a classic. The same excellent type of fight is what fans are hoping for in July. In what will almost certainly shape up as a completely different type of fight, tactics-wise, Klitschko-Haye will enthral for as long as it lasts: which doesn’t look like being as many rounds as Klitschko-Adamek.

Haye has that puncher’s chance ( he has at least this, for his own boxing skills are not to be sniffed at). While Adamek has that speed advantage that will give him a chance to win a decision. Both fights are hugely anticipated: which one, if either, will deliver? We hope both do. For as satisfying as it would be for Klitschko fans to see their heroes score easy wins (again), the heavyweight division needs some competitive, action fights.

Many fingers are crossed in the hope we will see two fights that fit this bill in the summer.

Article posted on 21.04.2011



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