Austin vs. Klitchko: The Breakdown
05.01.07 - By Ted Sares: According to the IBF rules, Wlad Klitschko must now face his mandatory challenger, Ray Austin. If this fight does take place, will it be a repeat of the Brock blow out. Let's break it down.
Article posted on 06.01.2007
Size: Austin stands at 6 feet 6 inches and weighed 245 pounds before his last bout. This means he will see eye to eye with Klitschko and may very well weigh more than the Ukrainian PhD when they step into the ring. The Rainman has an 80' reach while Dr. Steel hammer has an 81' span. Both are 6'6'. The size issue appears a wash, though Klitchko's body is firmer and more muscular. His elongated muscles make for great jackhammer type power. Edge to Klitchko based on his superior physique.
Record: Austin - (24-3-4, 16 ko's). Wladimir - (47-3, 42 ko's) with a great ko percentage of 84%. Many of Ray's stoppages have come by way of TKO, whereas the Ukrainian's have been clean one-punch icings. Big edge to Klitchko.
Klitchko was an Olympic Gold Medal winner. Austin wasa tough street fighter from Cleveland. Enough said.
Quality of Opposition: Clear edge for Klitchko as most of Ray's big fights have ended in draws. Harold Sconiers beat Austin in a six rounder by UD on November 2, 2006. Austin then lost only once more in his next thirteen fights and went on to become a top contender fighting at the top level of his division. The once promising Sconiers, however, proceeded to hit a sharp detour, losing ten consecutive bouts, his last being to Romanian Claudio Rasco in Montreal by TKO in 2005. A perfect example of hitting another kind of intersect or detour in which one fighter loses but really wins and the other wins but really loses.
If a won-lost tally of Klitchko's opponents were done, the results would be absolutely astounding. Most of his opponents had outstanding records coming in. Axel Schulz Phil Jackson, Cody Koch, Chris Byrd, Jameel McCline, Derrick Jefferson. Danell Nicholson, Eliseo Castillo, Samuel Peter and many more.
Common Opponents: None
Style: Manny Steward has created a killing machine. Having watched The big Ukrainian dispatch Bryd and Brock in brutal fashion, I now believe "Dr. Steel Hammer" has become a Killer Robot. He uses a simple recipe. Figure out your opponent's style, adjust accordingly, shift into automatic and execute. This usually means punishing jabs with increasing volume and then a straight sledgehammer right down the pipe. Sometimes a nice hook, preferably to the body, is thrown in to keep his opponent off stride. Wlad's one-two is outstanding and his ability to keep his opponents away by using his superior size is improving as well, though he sometimes has a habit of clinching too much. If he does clinch, he should use it as an opportunity to do some damaging body work.
Austin trys to emulate Larry Holmes by setting himself and using decent jabs. However, for a big man, he lacks the kind of power you would expect. He is not afraid to mix it up and stays in the fight for the full 10 or 12 rounds. Like Klitcho, he has good focus.
Big edge in power to the Doctor and big overall edge in style to him as well.
Chin: A wash. Both have been decked; both have been stopped.
AGE: Klit is 31, Ray is 36. But Wlad is fairly old in ring age.
Conditioning and stamina: Both fighters will be fit and ready. Questions still linger about Klitchko but I think his fight with Peter answered them. If anything, Austin's stamina may come into play depending upon how much early pressure is put on him.
Intangibles: Ray makes up for his lack of technical skills with grit, determination and heart. He will come into this fight in great shape, for it is his one and only shot at the brass ring and he knows it. Klitchko must fight overconfidence and Manny should be able to keep him inside himself. One thing, based on the Bock fight, Klitchko needs a better cut man in his corner.
The symbiosis with Manny gets better with each fight. Romeo Connors works well with Ray but he is no Steward.
I see a wash here.
Outcome: Dr. Steel Hammer will feel out the plodding, one dimensional Austin early and then come up with his plan of execution which will be to pick up the pace in the 3rd and 4th with an increasing number of stiff jabs and an occasional straight right and maybe a hook thrown in for good measure. But Austin will surprise Klitchko with his gameness and aggressiveness and make the fight competitive until the jabs start slowing him down. He will stun Klitchko with a right of his own, but the big Ukrainian will fight through it.
Klit will then begin executing his plan by greatly increasing the number and intensity of jabs in the 5th (maybe even up to sixty) softening up and slowing down Ray. In the 6th and final round, Wlad will execute. His high volume of punishing jabs will take a terrible toll on the Rainman and he will not see the brutal right coming down the middle. When it lands, the fight will be over.
An exciting fight for as long as it lasts.
"I'm not Calvin Brock," Austin said. "I'm not a 213-pound Chris Byrd, either. I'm a full-grown heavyweight. The last time Klitschko faced a man his weight was against Samuel Peter, who knocked him down three times while giving away five inches in height. Same thing when Lamon Brewster knocked him out. I guarantee some rain is going to fall on Klitschko when we fight." Ray Austin.
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