Boxing


Steel Hammer Breaks Boxing Banker In Seven

12.11.06 - By Frank Gonzalez Jr - Sharkies Machine -Heavyweight Contender Calvin Brock brought his unbeaten record of 29-0, with 22 KO's to Madison Square Garden Saturday night in hopes of winning a major Title and fulfilling his dream. The reigning IBF Champion Wladimir Klitschko (46-3, 41 KO's) would be his biggest obstacle he ever faced. He was not ready.

The Fight: Round 1
Brock was noticeably nervous in the early going and Klitschko used his jab proficiently to control the action. Brock was so nervous that he threw a punch and fell from his own momentum. It was ruled a slip. Klitschko had no problem in round 1.

Round 2
Klitschko continued using his jab and controlling the tempo. Brock finally landed a few left hooks and a couple of body shots, to shed a little light on an otherwise dim performance to that point. Brock's balance was dangerously poor. Klitschko was technically superior and used the basics to handle the nervous Brock, who too often stood in front of WK and lost the exchanges..

Round 3
Brock appeared to settle down a bit and tried a new approach, he pressed the action and was a bit more effective. There were some very sloppy moments, holding, wrestling. The crowd was getting annoyed. Klitschko forgot to jab
much in the third.

Round 4
Brock started coming on, pressing forward and going to the body. Unfortunately, Brock threw too many arm punches that had little impact, and against a big man like Wladimir, he wanted impact, not just points. Klitschko was cautious but did work his jab with good effect.

Round 5
Brock's right eye was starting to swell. Klitschko jabbed for a long stretch and put the starch on Calvin's face. He was hurting Brock with those jabs and by the end of the round, Brock's face was swelling up. WK rocked Brock with a vicious combination off the jab. Brock was hurt and looked sluggish. Klitschko showed the better stamina as they approached the midway point of the scheduled 12 rounder.

Round 6
Bravely, Brock tried to get in past Klitschko's jab and land a few shots. Arm punches though, with little effect. Klitschko kept the proper distance, stayed tall and worked his jab until they got close and banged inside. Klitschko's left eye was cut and starting to bleed. Brock did not go for the kill. When they did trade, Brock slipped and tackled Klitschko to the canvas with him. It was ruled a slip, but it was borderline dirty. The ref warned them both to keep it clean. If you score blood, this was Brock's best round. WK didn't do as much offensively in this round.

During the break, Klitschko's corner worked on his eye. It was a nasty gash below the brow of the left eye, good for about five stitches.

Round 7
Klitschko pressed the action, using his jab to set up a bruising combination that rocked Calvin badly. It was a left jab, followed by a right cross. Brock was wobbly. Wladimir did it again and landed both shots flush and Brock went facedown onto the canvas. Though he stood up and beat the count, he was very unstable on his feet and the referee, Wayne Kelly, waved it off. Wladimir Klitschko had won by KO 7.

* * *

Though Calvin Brock had a few decent moments in the fight, he does not appear to have anything special that defines him as a fighter. He's got good basic skills but nothing that stands out. Saturday night, Calvin didn't have the discipline to execute a successful game plan against the strong Champion with the powerful jab and questionable chin.

Brock was understandably nervous at first but he didn't work his jab, his balance was poor and when he had the chance to tag WK, he threw little arm punches that rendered Calvin off balance. Too often, he stood in front of Klitschko and got bombarded by Wladimir's long, heavy jabs, which proved to be the story of this fight. What Brock learns from this loss should make him a much-improved fighter.

Wladimir Klitschko did a good job of exploiting Brock's weaknesses. Klitschko's jab is his signature weapon and he used it like a maestro. He kept his composure, used his height to his advantage and was always the busier fighter. Fighting tall, his jab was effective and his mobility, stamina and experience were on display as he broke Brock down and finished him with a flush, left right combination in the seventh.

For now, Wladimir Klitschko looms as the best of the HW crop today. I can't see any of the other 'Champions' beating him. Valuev is too slow and awkward, Maskaev lacks the quickness and Briggs, well, he does run out of gas too early and his only chance would be his powerful right hand and a bit of luck. I was surprised that Sergei Liahkovich went out the way he against newly crowned WBO Champion, Shannon Briggs. It goes to show, you never really know-what can happen in the ring.

Congratulations to Wladimir Klitschko, who at 30 years of age, looks capable of ruling the division for a good while. He still has some vulnerabilities (cuts easily, chin?) but he's maturing into a very smart fighter that gets the most out of his natural assets. He owns but a piece of the Championship puzzle. When asked who he wants next, he said he wants to fight any of the other Title Holders out there.

Lets hope that can happen.

What a great era could be ushered in for our sport if we had a Heavyweight Tournament involving all four Titleholders. The last man standing could then be called, the "Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World."

* * *

Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 12.11.2006



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