Boxing


Samuel Peter vs. Wladimir Klitschko: Are We Seeing The Last Of Wladimir?

07.09.05 - By Tim Nielson: On September 24, the boxing world will likely see the final destruction of Wladimir Klitschko when he meets up with the knockout sensation Samuel Peter in Atlantic city. Thereís been a huge list of seemingly never ending excuses for why Wladimir was brutally knocked out by Corrie Sander, Lamon Brewster and Ross Puritty, that Iíve somehow lost track of them all. However, none of that matters now, with Wladimir seemingly riding on the brink of retirement if he loses to Samuel Peter. Sure, Wladimir can continue fighting if he losses to Peter, but against who? No, at the age 29, I think this fight is make it or break it point in his career. Itís either now, or itís time to move on to another career, perhaps using his PHD that he acquired in Physical Education. Whatever Wladimirís problems were in the past with his knockout losses, he will have to try and solve them all in one night against the hardest puncher in the heavyweight division or else face the end of his career. I have to admit, I donít like Wladimirís chances in this one. Samuel Peter comes into this fight with offensive weapons that make Wladimirís former conquerors (Lamon Brewster, Ross Puritty, and Corrie Sanders), look pale in comparison.

To some people, Peter may look raw and unfinished, but his awesome power is more than a neutralizer for his lack of skills, in my opinion. I donít know whether or not itís true that Wladimir has a weak chin, as many people say he does, but he does clearly seem to suffer from a lack of confidence, which is painfully obvious from his recent timid showings against Davarrly Williamson and Eliseo Castillo. Both of these fighters, a younger Wladimir would have walked though with ease as early as 2000.

However, that version of Wladimir is likely gone forever and he wonít be coming back anymore, it seems. Not even the hiring of the great trainer, Emanuel Steward can return Wladimir back to his former potential that he had in 2000, if his fight with Lamon Brewster is any indication. In that fight, after savagely using Brewster as a blow up punching bag for 4 rounds, Wladimir suddenly imploded and was taken out with big left hook by Brewster.

However, after seing the fight for the second time, I noticed that Wladimir looked tense and horrified, throughout, due to Brewsterís non-stop attack. I then remembered how Wladimir had done the same thing when he was fighting Ross Puritty in 1998, in a fight that was eventually stopped in the 11th round, with Wladimir being knocked around the ring like a rag doll. I realized then, that Wladimir essentially fights like an oversized bully, who can dish it out, but cannot take it when he is faced with someone that is willing to take his abuse and return the attack.

Of course, with Peter, the magic question is, can he take the kind of physical abuse in the early rounds that someone like Lamon Brewster was able to withstand for 4 rounds against Wladimir? Itís a difficult question, since he will be getting hit like never before in his career, aside from sparring, which he formerly did with Wladimir. That word has it, that Peter had problems against Wladimir, who basically beat him up their sparring sessions together. However, sparring doesnít equal reality in any way, so that kind of thing has to be thrown out when making predictions to this fights outcome.There won't be any headgear in the ring to protect Wladimir from Peter's thunderous punches.

Wladimir, if anything, is very hard to hit early in his fights, that is, when heís fighting smart and safe. I donít include his fights against Brewster, and Corrie Sanders in that category, in my opinion, due to the fact that he appeared to not have much respect for either fighter, because he carelessly left himself wide open while pursuing knockouts in those fights.

So, in order to catch Wladimir, Peter will have use good foot work to be able to cut of the ring from Wladimir, who will no doubt be in full flight, trying to stay on the outside. I also expect Wladimir to attempt to use a lot of clinching to try and nullify Peter on the inside. However, I donít expect that Steward will have taught him how to do it well enough to avoid Peter from getting off one or two punches before Wlad can effectively tie him up. I think that tactic will work against Wladimir, who instead of stopping Peterís offensive charges, will likely get tired out from trying to wrestle the stronger Peter. Wladimir will be better off using his European style, where he fights tall and stays on the outside. Trying to wrestle Peter, using an American style, will only bring sap Wlad's strength and cause him to go jelly legs early on.

Although, to be honest, I have serious doubts that even a prime Wladimir could beat someone in the class of Samuel Peter, who will likely storm right through Wladimirís ineffective jabs and get right in on his tender, cheese-like chin, to take him out.

Given the past history of problems that Wladimir has had with hard punchers, it will be no surprise to me to see him once again knocked out, perhaps brutally by Samuel Peter. I really hate to admit this, but I see Wladimir getting stopped one more time, and this time, for good. It's been intersting for me to follow his career over the years, but I think he has about to be offically destoyed by Samuel Peter on September 24. However, one thing is for certain, it wonít be dull for a minute in the early rounds.

Article posted on 07.09.2005



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