Why Wladimir Klitschko vs Samuel Peter Will Never Happen
20.07.05 - By Lee Hayes: It was announced July 18th, that the IBF has ordered a box off between Samuel "The Nigerian Nightmare" Peter and Wladimir "Dr. Steelhammer" Klitschko for a shot at Chris Byrd's IBF Heavyweight championship belt. It is this writers opinion that we will never see this fight come to play, and it won't be Peter's fault. Allow me to explain:
Article posted on 20.07.2005
First, you should know that the WBC has also ordered a box off for it's number one contender position between Samuel Peter and Sinan Simal Sam. A peculiar statement considering that Hasim Rahman has been sitting in the WBC's number one contender spot waiting for a shot at it's champion Vitali Klitschko for just over half a year, and is currently scheduled to fight Monte Barrett, ths second ranked WBC heavyweight for what is still being dubbed the WBC Heavyweight Interim Title. Still, the point is that Peter and his team will have to chose who is the wiser opponent for the young Nigerian to face at this point in his career.
I think the obvious pick would be Klitschko, based entirely on the way Wladimir's career has gone in the past 3 years. (While Klitschko has had difficulty getting over his devastating KO loss to Corrie Sanders in March of 2003, and has since lost to Lamon Brewster and struggled with Davarryl Williamson, Sam has gone undefeated in his last seven fights).
The problem is that Klitschko's team definitely will not be looking for a power punching opponent like Peter, while the talented Ukrainian looks to rebuild his once budding career. When your chin is suspect, and you lose confidence in it, you certainly don't go in the ring with a guy that's known for having one of the most devastating hooks in the division. Team Klitschko probably learned their lesson when they got cocky with Corrie Sanders in Hanover Germany.
It's been pointed out to me that Peter used to be a sparring partner for Wladimir. I did some research on their sessions and it turns out that Wladimir in fact had out boxed Peter quit handedly. He didn't knock him down, but he was able to stun Samuel a couple of times. To the average fan, this could be signs of a problem for Peter. To the more knowledgeable insider, a sparring partner can be a dangerous threat. Just ask Klitschko himself. He was defeated by Ross Puritty, a life long journeyman and sparring partner.
You could also ask any of the men that Oliver McCall has fought. He was mostly known for being Mike Tyson's punching bag in sparring before knocking out previously unbeaten prospect Bruce Seldon. Bert Cooper is probably another example of a heavyweight sparring partner that has given some very shaky moments to fighters that didn't expect it. Unfortunately for Klitschko, Peter was never that type of sparring partner. He was merely a young heavyweight looking for some experience and extra money while trying to work his way up.
Also, keep in mind that sparring partners in general know their role. They know they are there to let the star shine. If they show too much, they get sent home without pay. The sparring sessions with Klitschko probably would not have any effect on either man. It's also notable that the sessions took place when Wladimir was preparing to fight Jameel "Big Time" McCline (himself a sparring partner for much of his career), and they took place when Wladimir was at his fighting peak. While Peter's stock has continued to rise, Klitschko's last fight took place against Eliseo Castillo, who was ranked 56th by the IBF.
Anybody that saw Peter's last four fights knows he is a devastating puncher, that goes for the KO in practically every fight he's in. He also has a solid amateur back ground with national titles and finished his amateur record at 19-1 before losing to eventual bronze medal winner in Paolo Vidoz of Italy at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In Peter's first nine professional fights, he scored seven first round knock outs. Since then, he's stopped eight opponents in the second round. That's a total of fifteen stoppages in two rounds or less, in Peter's short 24 win professional career. If you were on team Klitschko and you were rebounding from KO losses and knock downs, would you put your man in with Peter?
Regardless, Wladimir Klitschko has spent more time trying to rouse the FBI in to boxing, and has been seen more often in court rooms and with lawyers than with boxing gloves in a ring in recent years. He seems hell bent on getting a rematch with Chris Byrd, the current IBF Heavyweight champion, whom Klitschko owns a one sided win over nearly five years ago. Unfortunately for Wladimir, he chose to try discredit the organization that he's demanding a title fight from in public courts.
It appears that his punishment is this fight with Peter. Apparently the IBF doesn't take lightly to it's fighters attempting to bully it to their whim, and Klitschko may very well find out what the consequences are if he ever does get in the ring with Peter. Perhaps Wladimir is kicking himself right at this moment for not taking the IBF's earlier offer, and the courts recommendation to fight a rematch with journeyman Davarryl Williamson for the right to face Byrd.
Instead, Klitschko said that Williamson wasn't qualified, based on his technical victory over him. Apparently, the Klitschko's felt very differently about Lennox Lewis's victory over Vitali Klitschko due to cuts, and called Lewis dishonorable for not rematching the elder Klitschko. To them, it seems stopping a fight on cuts is only a legitimate win, if they are the ones getting the "W" attached to their records.
While my personal prediction for a fight between Wladimir and Samuel is that Peter will KO Klitschko more violently than he did Jeremy Williams in 2004, I really feel it's all for naught, as I stated previous, I can't see any way team Klitschko takes this fight. Instead, we the boxing fans are more likely to be subjected to more side stepping and legal drama than any sizzling fights in the ring. The heavyweight division could use this fight, because Peter could use it as a spring board to an IBF title fight with Byrd, or Klitschko could prove his detractors, myself included, that he is capable of a comeback. Unfortunately, a capable comeback does not seem to be on the itinerary of the big brothers. Their stated goal in boxing is only to hold world titles at the same time.
It appears by Wladimir's constant court battles, that he would prefer to do this against an opponent he has already beat, that he feels cannot hurt his vulnerable chin. Team Klitschko feels that Chris Byrd fits that mold. He certainly has no interest in facing off against Lamon Brewster, in a rematch of their April 2004 bout, in which Klitschko mysteriously dropped from exhaustion at the end of the 5th round, while walking back to his corner, prompting referee Robert Byrd to stop the fight. (Mysterious unless you consider that Klitschko basically did the same thing six years previously against journeyman Ross Puritty).
I guess the jury is out, but it's this writers bet that we are as likely to see Evander Holyfield become the five time heavyweight champion of the world, as we are to see Wladimir Klitschko put his families dwindling reputation on the line against a dangerous opponent such as Peter. I'm sure even his strongest supporters are biting their nails while they wait for his next move. I on the other hand, will be looking forward to Hasim Rahman vs Monte Barrett. Two fighters that want to fight, that you know will be in the ring come fight time.
This writer welcomes your comments/suggestions here or at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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