Klitschko Tops Brock To Retain IBF Heavyweight Title

By Francis Walker
Updated: November 12, 2006

Wladimir Klitschko

Wladimir Klitschko


NEW YORK — Wladimir Klitschko (47-3, 42 KOs) retained the IBF heavyweight championship with a seventh round knockout of undefeated, No. 1-contender, Calvin Brock (29-1, 22 KOs) in front of 14,260 at Madison Square Garden .

The end occurred at 2:10 of the seventh round when Klitschko flattened Brock with a solid left-jab, right-cross combination to his jaw.

“When I landed the combination, I thought he was done,” Klitschko said. It was Klitschko’s first defense of the IBF title he won on April 22nd in Germany when he ended Chris Byrd’s nearly 3½-year reign during an impressive seventh round knockout.

Klitschko has established himself as the most recognizable heavyweight in boxing. Once again, Klitschko has shown the potential to become a dominant heavyweight champion.

At 6-feet-7 and 240 pounds, Klitschko is very dangerous when he moves forward and follows his left jabs with his right hand. However, Klitschko’s biggest problem against Brock was simply putting his punches together.

Klitschko did not throw a single right hand in the first three rounds against Brock, who proved to be a very game and determined fighter worthy of a world title fight.

Brock was able to stop the champion’s attack by landing solid body shots and clinching, as Klitschko often pawed with his left hand and tried to come in with right uppercuts.

“His performance good,” said Wladimir’s older brother Vitali, a former WBC heavyweight champion. “It’s not so easy to look good against Brock. Stinky style, but great boxer, and great amateur career. Not easy to look good against him.” Klitschko was simply bigger, stronger, and more experienced than Brock. But it was not until the fifth round when Klitschko landed a meaningful pair of consecutive left jabs and straight-right combinations.

Brock continuously landed heavy shots, but not overwhelmingly powerful punches. Klitschko was around his left eye.

Klitschko was not relentless until he clearly hurt the smaller 6-foot-2, 224-pound Brock with a solid right to his chin in the seventh.

Once Brock, a US Olympian in the 2000 Olympics, an educated man with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina , was hurt, Klitschko was easily able to finish his prey.

“He had a better jab than I thought he did,” Brock said. I saw the punch coming, but couldn’t react fast enough. He’s strong and has good balance. He has a good jab and good movement. I felt I needed a KO to win.” It is clear that Klitschko is still a tentative fighter and is concerned about getting hit with a big punch. In the heavyweight division, one big punch can change the tide of fight.

“You’ve got to put pressure on [Klitschko],” said newly crowned WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs. “[Klitschko] was beating Lamon Brewster. [Klitschko] got hit and he quit. Corrie Sanders hit him on the chin and he quit.” “You’ve got to get on top of [Klitschko] and make him quit. You put pressure on him, he breaks down,” Briggs added.

Briggs was referring to Klitschko’s three professional losses. All of which were knockout losses to Ross Purity (TKO by 11), Corrie Sanders (TKO by 2), and Lamon Brewster (TKO by 5).

Since working with Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward, Klitschko has shown tremendous improvement in his combination punching, reflexes, balance, and timing. Klitschko appears to be faster, more leaner, and a better thinker between the ropes.

Steward believes that Klitschko has the talent to beat the other belt-holders: Briggs (WBO), Oleg Maskaev (WBA), and undefeated 7’ 3,” 325 pound Nikolai Valuev (WBA) to unify the world heavyweight championship.