Why Boxing Needs Sam Peter To Beat Wladmir Klitschko

15.09.05 - By Stuart Cornwell: On September 24th in Atlantic City, Wladmir Klitschko takes on Samuel Peter in an intriguing 12 round heavyweight contest. In a division that seems (in the last few years at least) to produce an endless series of disappointing and uninspiring match-ups, this one seems to show genuine promise. Not only do the contrasting and explosive styles of both men suggest a very good chance of producing a genuinely entertaining battle but the fight itself might just signal a turn in the tide within the heavyweight era. The birth of an era. The end of the stagnation. Providing Samuel Peter wins, that is.

The heavyweight division is in a sorry state, let’s be honest. Chris Byrd and John Ruiz are “world champions” – a man that can’t punch and a man that wont punch. Vitali Klitschko, the world’s premier fighter, hasn’t fought for ten months and is next scheduled to face Hasim Rahman, fresh off an epic snooze-fest with Monte Barrett.

The heavyweight fighters of the year so far have been a 32 year old journeyman (Lamon Brewster) and the fat steroid-assisted former middleweight James Toney, himself 37. Hardly the future of the division.

Sam Peter, however, may well be the future. I am hoping he is. Dubbed the “Nigerian Nightmare” he is a brutal puncher, just turned 25, and unbeaten. With 21 KOs in 24 fights and a aggressive style he has what is always a sure bet to rejuvenate the heavyweight division – raw power ! The boxing fans love knockouts. The casual sports fan (most of whom probably never heard of Chris Byrd) sits up and takes notice of a heavyweight who’s knocking men through the ropes.

Really, I dont know whether Sam Peter is world class or not but I hope he is because that's best for the sport.

A win for Wladmir Klitschko, on the other hand, would not be a win for the sport of boxing. Of course, it would be good for his own career and if he wins fair and square in a thrilling contest I will be among the first to praise his efforts. But really a Klitschko win would simply mean that Sam Peter wasn't good enough. We would then have to look elsewhere for the future of the division and the same depressing scenario continues.

The problem with a Klitschko win is two-fold. Firstly, Wladmir is a fallen prospect who will never instill us with belief that he could set the world alight. Those days are over. Three bad stoppage losses in fights he was HEAVILY favoured to win have damaged him beyond repair, I believe. A man that gets stopped by the second-raters he’s been stopped by is unlikely to become a legend.

Secondly, Wladmir’s brother Vitali is rated as the division’s best heavyweight. So even if Wlad improves dramatically on his recent form (which I seriously doubt) it's not good for the sport if we have Vitali as the champion and his brother as the most logical challenger.

Because we all know the brothers would never fight each other.

For these reasons, I will be rooting firmly for Samuel Peter in a hope that this may be the first of a series of exciting victories and the ushering in of a new era. Even if the Peter “era” lasts a year or two, or if he fails when up against Wlad’s brother, it still seems a better option than whatever a Wladmir victory can lead to.

Article posted on 15.09.2005

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