Boxing


Brock/Klitschko: Is Wladimir Taking Brock Too Lightly?

07.11.06 - By Kirk Allen: Wladimir Klitschko (46-3, 41 KO's), the IBF heavyweight champion, will take on super talented Calvin "The Boxing Banker" Brock (29-0, 22 KO's) on Saturday, November 11, at the Madison Square Garden, in New York. Rarely, do we get to see two top fighters such as these meeting up in the ring, it seems now a days. However, it appears that Wladimir may already be looking past Brock, based on Wladimir's comments in the press about wanting to fight the WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev in 2007. Bear in mind, the likelihood of this ever happening, at least in the short term, is remote to say the least. More than that, however, it seems to indicate that Wladimir is taking Brock far too lightly as an opponent.

Why Wladimir would choose to look past Brock, a fighter that is as good as any of the current heavyweight champions, is beyond me. In particular, Brock is one of the best boxing technicians in the game, and not only fights smart, but also with a lot of toughness. If there's anyone that can find a hole in Wladimir's leaky defense, its Brock, who will be surely studying hard to find out all of Wladimir's faults.

For those who are unfamiliar with Brock, he's previously beaten tough fighters, such as Jameel McCline and Timor Ibragimov. He may not have the same Olympic success that Wladimir did, but he has enough power to put Wladimir on his seat, if he connects with the Ukrainian's chin.

In the not too distant past, we've seen what happens to Wladimir Klitschko when he overlooks an opponent. Against tough knockout artists like Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders, and Lamon Brewster, Wladimir failed miserably, when he thought he could just walk over these tough veterans without any struggle. In each case, Wladimir was punished badly by being knocked out.

In normal cases, when a person makes a mistake, they study what they've done wrong and then try to learn from it. However, in Wladimir's case, it seems as if he fails to understand the reasons for his defeats. Unlike others, I don't see it as a chin issue or a problem with his nerves.

No, it's simpler than that. Wladimir, for his part, is too arrogant for his own good. Perhaps, like many conceited fighters before him, he probably reads his own press and when there's so much stuff said positively about him, he starts to actually believe it all. In the process, he forgets all the hard work involved that made him so good in the first place.

Since 2004, Wladimir has switched trainers, signing on with Emanuel Steward, the former trainer for Lennox Lewis. At the time, it seemed to me to be a knee-jerk reaction to Wladimir's loss to Corrie Sanders in 2003. As such, I felt that the move reeked of thoughtless desperation, as if Wladimir was looking for a magic bullet or possibly Dumbo's magic feather, none of which can be found by quickly changing trainers after a disappointing loss, particularly when things had been going well under Fritz Sdunek, his former trainer.

And, just like before, I see Wladimir quickly becoming over confident once again, perhaps fueled by his easy win over Chris Byrd, whom he knocked out in the 6th round, in April 2006. Brock, however, has much more power than Byrd, thus preventing Wladimir from wading in full bore like he did with Byrd.

Yet, if history is any indication of what will happen in the future, I expect Wladimir to storm out in the early rounds against Brock and try to overwhelm him with punches, without thinking about incoming return fire. Simply put, if Brock can stand his ground, and not panic under Wladimir's early withering attack, he's got an excellent chance at landing something big that will take out the Ukrainian fighter.

While I believe that Wladimir has the better offensive skills, he's just a little too cocky for his own good, and he'll leave a big opening for Brock to take advantage of by sending Wladimir down for the ten count.

Prediction: Brock by 8th round KO

Article posted on 08.11.2006



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