Boxing


Wladimir Klitschko’s Five Best Performances

By James Slater: As surely every fight fan on the planet knows, rival heavyweight rulers Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye are set to rumble, at last, on July 2nd in Germany. The anticipation of the biggest and most exciting heavyweight clash in years has people talking and talking, and it has the writers writing and writing.

Who is the better fighter? Who will win when they meet? Who has the most to win? Who has the most to lose?

Far more accomplished than Haye, as a heavyweight certainly, 35-year-old Klitschko has built up an impressive resume over his fifteen years as a pro. Haye, so far, has achieved his biggest wins as a cruiserweight, but he has a couple of notable wins at heavyweight as well; if nothing to rival Wladimir’s record.

But what exactly will Haye be going up against in the summer? Here, in my opinion, are the top-five performances of “Dr. Steel Hammer.” This is the on-form fighter Haye will soon be facing!

I list my respective choices here:

1: W RTD9 Ruslan Chagaev, June 2009.

How good was Klitschko on this night? Against an unbeaten, former WBA heavyweight champion who was also a southpaw with a great amateur background, Wladimir won every minute of every round on the way to making “The White Tyson” remain on his stool at the conclusion of the 9th-round. Swollen, exhausted and demoralised, Chagaev was thoroughly beaten by a dominant champion at the absolute peak of his powers. “Dr. Steel Hammer” barely had a mark on his face at the end of the one-sided affair.

2: W KO10 Sam Peter, September 2010.

In his second fight against “The Nigerian Nightmare,” Klitschko had none of the problems he had in the first encounter; when he was sent to the mat three times. A sign of how much an improved fighter he was, in the return of the 2005 meeting Wladimir won every session before taking the dangerous slugger out in style. Adding an uppercut to his already lethal arsenal, Klitschko actually ended matters with a concrete left hook to the jaw.

3: W KO12 Eddie Chambers, March 2010.

Meeting the unbeaten, slick and naturally gifted “Fast” Eddie, Klitschko was expected by some to have a tough time, at least for a few rounds as he figured out the Philly boxer’s cute style. Instead, courtesy of a big right hand to the chin in the 2nd that hurt and discouraged Chambers, Wladimir dominated every minute of every round. It looked as though Klitschko would have to settle for a landslide points win; until trainer Emanuel Steward bellowed at his charge to close the show. With just five seconds left on the clock in the final round, Klitschko did as he was told; ending the fight dramatically with a sweet left hook that landed bang on the button.

4: W TKO7 Chris Byrd, April, 2006.

Before this rematch meeting, only one man had stopped the clever, tricky Byrd: the lethal-hitting, now incarcerated Ike Ibeabuchi. Wladimir, having just his fourth fight back after the disastrous loss to Lamon Brewster, doubled the number of KO losses the gifted southpaw had suffered when they met for the IBF belt held by Byrd. Another flawless showing saw to it that Klitschko’s big punches snatched the title just after the half-way stage of the fight. A special win for Klitschko, as it saw him win his first major title since losing the WBO crown to Brewster.

5: W KO11 Tony Thompson, July, 2008.

Arguably Wladimir’s toughest fight since the first win over Peter, the Thompson fight saw Klitschko remain focused after a couple of tricky early rounds. Thompson’s southpaw right jab served him well in the early going, as did his size, reach and overall boxing skill. Even managing to win a couple of rounds, “The Tiger” eventually faded and Klitschko’s strength and power took over. Some fans would like to see a rematch of this fight, seeing how Thompson claims he had to fight through a leg injury.

Article posted on 26.04.2011



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