Like it or not, Klitschko Now Controls the Reigns in the Heavyweight Division

27.09.05 - By Jim Jamesson: What a great night for boxing! The heavyweight clash between Klitschko and Peter has to be one of the closest landslides in quite some time. Nobody predicted this fight going the distance! I'm not sure about you, but for me, I couldn't sit still for one second of this fight.. Up until round three, I thought it was a pure clinic. The bigger, more skillful man was making it look easy, much as I'd predicted. Wladimir was able to keep peter perfectly in his range and tap him at will with the 1-2. Just as my anxiety was beginning to wear off, BOOM! The power of Peter finally pulled through. Wlad was holding and his legs looked like the MC Hammer dance.

Something was different though, He was still standing, and actually countering a number of Peter's wild swings. In my mind, most of those shots Peter landed on the back of Wlad's head probably would have knocked him down anyways. This dude can punch! Although I don't feel Peter quite captures the drama or punch that Tyson once owned pre-Douglas, he sure packs quite a wallop though.

Heading into this fight, there were so many unknowns and what-ifs about both fighters. Wlad's chin, stamina, conditioning, Samuel's chin, power, skill against A-level fighters. What unfolded was basically everything everyone predicted--regardless who you were pulling for. Wlad showed us that he still has an issue with his chin, but redeemed himself in the eyes of many. Peter on the other hand, showed us he belonged in the upper echelon of the division, but clearly has some work to do on his skill and predictability. While Big George Foreman was quick to point out a couple faints for Peter, it looked like Wlad could see 90% of Peter's punches coming, and was easily able to pick them off with his glove. At one point, it almost looked as if Wlad grinned when he was blocking Peter's shots, like he was in the Matrix. There is no question the Nigerian is the toughest puncher in the division and has a hell of a chin. Wlad is no certainly no wimp in the punching department.

What might have impressed me most with Klitschko though that not many people seem to mention, is his complete lack of complaining in the ring from the shots he took on the back of his head. I never noticed a single time he even shot the ref a dirty look. He took the punches like a man. He was clearly dazed, but seemed more determined in this fight than any I've seen him in. He came back after the knock downs with VERY strong rounds, and I really feel Peter was frustrated from this.

Peter just didn't seem to have the skill to compete in this fight. While I feel he will go on to become a big force in the division, at least for the next several fights, if he doesn't really spend some time on his technical flaws, he won't amount to all that much. If they can break some of the bad habits, and make him a bit more dynamic of a puncher, he could EASILY be the force to be reckoned with down the road. I for one, hope thats the case!

I wonder though, where do we go from here. Are we perhaps seeing something similar to the Tyson / Douglas fight? Since Peter was unable to topple the fragile Klitschko, and was in the eyes of many, shown to be a one-dimensional fighter, I wonder if other fighters won't quite fear him the way they did before this past Saturday night. It remains to be seen what direction both guys go from here, but either way, I think both men will gain from this fight. Peter may have lost the fight, but he is by no means a loser. He was technically outgunned by a bigger, faster, technically far superior boxer, who packs some decent power as well.

Since the winner becomes the #1 for the WBO and IBF belts, it appears as though a fight with Byrd would be the natural choice... (providing he gets by Williamson, which I think he will do). I don't doubt that Wladimir wants revenge on Brewster. But from a money perspective, it seems to make more sense if he were to go into a Brewster fight with Byrd's belt wrapped around him. Of course this fight will more than likely be a PPV fight, which I'm getting quite tired of seeing one each month on my cable bill. Speaking of Byrd, who happens to be the new limbo champion of the world for ducking under an appointment so low, does he fight Wlad for the title, knowing he will lose the fight, or does he finagle some way to give up the belt avoiding a fight?

What about Peter? Does he take a long look in the mirror and head back down to sub-par competition? Does he challenge a top-level guy? If you ask me, he needs to stay with names that the public knows of, maybe the likes of a Jameel Mcline or Monte Barrett. Perhaps a fight with McBride, if anything to save us the stress of a potential McBride / Ruiz eyesore. In any case, Peter's stock probably doesn't dip down much from this fight... nothing close to what would've happened Wlad lost. Wlad had far much more at stake in this fight, and seemed to fight with that in mind. He seemed a notch more determined than Peter in this fight.

All in all, I can't wait for the upcoming fights and match-ups in the heavies. While we still have a lackluster bunch at the top so to speak, the drama and action certainly took a huge step forward with this fight! We've finally got something to talk about, argue against, and enjoy. The only thing that has me worried about Wlad winning this fight, and seemingly cruising to an easy victory over Chris Byrd if they do indeed fight, is the K brothers just might have their wish granted. Between Don King and the Klitschko Brothers, prepare for another year or so of sanctioning body gridlock. Although I'd much rather have two champs than four, I think Wlad has regained much of what he lost, and with Manny in the corner, will go on to dominate along side his brother for quite a stretch. Like it or not, it certainly seems feasible.

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Article posted on 27.09.2005

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