Boxing


Wladimir Klitschko needs to find his Clubber Lang

By Dave Cacciatore: Watching the heavyweight champ pummel his blown up ex-crusierweight challenger had all the suspense of watching a Road Runner cartoon. It was only a question of when Jean Marc Mormeck was going to be dropped off the side of the cliff. Unfortunately, for Wladimir Klitschko and the sport of boxing this same predictable story has become all too common. After largely cleaning out all the remaining contenders, there are few top fighters on the heavyweight landscape that have not been conquered by the Klitschko brothers.

In Wladimir's case in particular he has been so overwhelming that prior to his fight with David Haye last year, you really have to go back 4 years to 2007 when he fought the rematch against Lamon Brewster to find a fight which carried some intrigue. This is certainly not his fault that he has been this dominant but it has not made for interesting theater in the most glamorous division in boxing. It also has not enhanced his legacy; champions are remembered as much for who they fought as how many titles they collected. Simply put the public at large is not interested in watching a 6'6 doctor jab over-matched foes into submission for alpha bet soup belts.

The public wants to see shoot outs in the ring. They want to see big guys hit the deck. They want to feel that the title could change hands when the challenger steps in the ring. An oft cited solution is for Wladimir to 'open up more.' In other words give up his physical advantages so that we have more entertaining contests. This is not a viable solution just ask Roy Jones.

The better option is to start making fights with guys that are not talking about retirement and money. To start fighting guys that like to hit and don't mind getting hit. Guys that actually brawl like they want to back up their big talk made outside the ring. In short, guys that are willing to give up their big toe to win. To borrow from cinema, he needs to find someone who is going to bring the fight to him like Clubber Lang in Rocky III.

There are three names that come to mind that might fit this bill that he has not fought. First of them being Robert Helenius. The Nordic Nightmare is just as tall as Wladimir and brings a punishing all action style to the ring. He can be out-boxed at times and does not have the speed to match the champ but he can take a good shot. He is also younger and undefeated. Helenius has the potential to put the champ in the kind of war that will have people talking rematch.

Second on the list Chris Arreola. Yes, he was beaten by older brother but styles make fights. And even Chris might know enough math to count on one hand the number of backwards steps he has taken in the ring. To say that Arreola does not mind being hit is an understatement. His head is like a shock absorber on a Rock Em Sock Em Robot. There is not much doubt in anyone's mind that he will force the champ into a fight or be knocked out in spectacular fashion or both could happen. In any event this has the makings of being the kind of fight that does not fade into the morass of other Wladimir Klitschko opponents.

Third in line is Dereck Chisora. He probably should be first on the list not so much for what he has done inside of the ring but outside of it. Specifically sending a stream of water gushing right into Wladimir's face. For this disrespect Chisora should have been eating his meals through a straw but in a most unusually reaction by a heavyweight champ, Wladimir Klitschko did nothing. No man, forget heavyweight champion should have tolerated a loud mouth punk publicly humiliating him like that. And if Wladimir is too much of a gentleman to exact his revenge at the time he should at the least find a way to get this guy into the ring. The champ needs to show some fighting spirit and beat this man from one ring post to another before knocking him out. And love him or hate him, Chisora is a credible challenger in his own right. He took Vitali Klitschko the distance and he gave him problems along the way.

Bottom line is this, Wladimir has already made mega millions. At this point he is no longer fighting to make it because he already has many times over. Fights should be about fans and his boxing legacy first and dollars and cents second. There is still some unfinished business in the division besides his brother who he will obviously not fight. So finish up your career the right way giving us some fights to remember.

Article posted on 05.03.2012



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