By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Klitschko wins his acceptance
IOWA CITY (BASN) — There was talk of possible upset with slick boxer-puncher Ruslan Chagaev challenging the best heavyweight in the world, Wladimir Klitschko.
While Ring Magazine withheld their seal of approval, the eye test would have shown even to the most casual of fans that this division was the Klitschko’s brothers and the rest of the field.
Guess what, this past Saturday showed what we all knew; Klitschko is the best heavyweight in the world. (Except for maybe his brother.) Over a period of nine rounds, Klitschko used his jab to pound his opponent head and then slipped on many occasions his sledgehammer right.
In the opening round, the pattern of the fight was set as Klitschko maintained a safe distance from Chagaev as he failed to close the distance. At the end of the second round, Chagaev got nailed with yet another left jab but within the blink of the eye, a right followed that sent Chagaev down.
Nor did it get any better for the poor Chagaev.
The only time that Chagaev actually connected on a punch of any consequences was at the end of the seventh round as he nailed Klitschko with a straight left but that was the only time that he even came close to threatening Klitschko.
During the eighth round, Klitschko nailed Chagaev with several rights that sent Chagaev reeling but Chagaev survived the round but the end was near. Cut over his left eye, Chagaev came into the point of the fight that his only way to victory was through the knock out route but Klitschko ended any hope that this would occur when he punished his rival with a series of combinations that jerked Chagaev head back in the ninth round.
Six straight rights pierced through Chagaev’s defenses over the last 30 seconds of the round and Chagaev felt the impact of every blow. As Chagaev retreated back to his corner, it was obvious to anyone including his corner, there was nothing much left for Chagaev could do to stem the tide.
The fight was stopped and Klitschko claimed what was earned over the past five years — the undisputed championship. How this fight came together was the typical boxing story.
Both fighters were scheduled to fight others, Klitschko was scheduled to fight former Cruiserweight champion David Haye while Chagaev was to fight Nicolai Valuev.
David Haye suffered a back injury that forced him to pull out and a blood test showed Chagaev had Hepatitis B titers; forcing the cancellation of that fight.
Klitschko offered Valuev a shot at the title and when the Russian fighter turned down his chance to fight Klitschko; the German boxing authorities cleared Chagaev to fight.
Chagaev wanted his chance to be the man in the division and hoped to take advantage of this opportunity but it was not to be. Chagaev simply didn’t have the tools to fight Wladimir, he didn’t have the power or any advantages in quickness nor did he have any additional experience to turn the tide.
He was simply out matched but then that would be true of the others in the top ten as well. Valuev probably knew that as well, so he figured he would wait. Now what for Klitschko?
The big money fight is still Haye, which is why this fight sold over 60,000 tickets originally and certainly Haye own outrageous attitude was enough to sell tickets while irritating both of the Klitschko’s brother.
The only problem is either the sanctioning bodies whose titles Klitschko hold will force the Ukrainian fighter to fight mandatory challengers. And there is rumor of Haye challenging his older brother after his back heals if a fight with Wladimir could not be arrange.
For the past five years, Wladimir has been the premier heavyweight and yet never got credit for his abilities. Often question because his only his early losses, Klitschko has become a good fighter.
How good? History will only tell but there are similarities between Wladimir Klitschko and Lennox Lewis, who recently made the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Like Lewis, Klitschko not only survived early knock outs losses but he became a better fighter. And like Lewis, he’s coached by Emmanuel Steward.
Klitschko is now the man of the division, or now he is the recognized man in the division but over the past five years, he was the man and now the boxing world has finally caught up with the reality.
This is the Klitschko’s brothers division.