Size Does Matter

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: September 28, 2009

WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko improves to 3-0, 3 KOs since his return in October 2008. Photo Credit: Pavel Terekhov

WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko improves to 3-0, 3 KOs since his return in October 2008. Photo Credit: Pavel Terekhov

NEW YORK (BASN) — At 6-feet-7 and 252 pounds, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (38-2, 37 KOs) successfully defended his title for the second time when his mandatory defense against previously unbeaten Cristobal Arreola (27-1, 24 KOs) was stopped after the 10th round in front of more than 16,000 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Arreola, looking to become the first Mexican-American to win a world heavyweight title, simply couldn’t surpass the lengthy reach, distance, and superior power of Klitschko’s jab.

It was truly a sight to see how someone as tall and as big as Klitschko jab and move around the ring the way he did. Arreola simply could not put two punches together. When he did catch Klitschko once, he couldn’t hit him a second time.

Klitschko was simply too tall, much stronger, and simply better than Arreola.

“This was a hard fight, like I expected,” Klitschko said afterward. “I know I was hurting him a lot, but he has a great, great chin. He’s a tough fighter, but I worked the body.”

Klitschko-Arreola was a highly anticipated heavyweight title fight because the younger 28 year-old had the reputation of being aggressive and having explosive power.

Arreola was aggressive against Klitschko, but it wasn’t he same. Arreola wasn’t nearly the same fighter that dominated the lives of Chazz Witherspoon, Jameel McCline, and rose from off the canvas to KO Travis Walker.

Chris Arreola simply couldn't surpass the lenghty reach, and powerful left jab-right hand combination of Vitali Klitschko. Photo Credit: Pavel Terekhov

Chris Arreola simply couldn't surpass the lenghty reach, and powerful left jab-right hand combination of Vitali Klitschko. Photo Credit: Pavel Terekhov

Instead, and much respect to Arreola for trying to perform in front of his hometown supporters, but against Klitschko he looked like an ordinary, overmatched fighter. At 6-foot-3 and 251 pounds, Arreola didn’t look nearly as conditioned and as strong as Klitschko.

It was hard to believe that at age 38, Klitschko, who missed 3 ½ years (2004-2008) because of injuries, is as dominant as he was before he retired. It’s as though as if Klitschko had picked up exactly where he left off – a dominant heavyweight champion.

Overall, Klitschko out landed Arreola 301 to 86 in punches connected.

Vitali Klitschko’s amazing comeback

Since his return in October 2008, Klitschko forced Samuel Peter to relinquish the WBC heavyweight title by quitting on his stool after eight rounds. Peter couldn’t plod his way past Klitschko’s superior left-jab, right hand combination.

In March, Klitschko jabbed former WBC cruiserweight titlist, Juan Carlos Gomez to death. Gomez simply couldn’t get inside of Klitschko effectively and when he did the right hand caught him flush. That bout was stopped in the ninth round.

It is because of the way Klitschko uses his reach and distance, it’s very difficult to hit him. Klitschko can be light on his feet and uses every angle of the ring. Also, Klitschko is a very strong man and he’s very accurate with his punches. Klitschko has had only one professional contest last the distance.

The only fighter to have gone the entire scheduled distance with Klitschko was Tino Hoffman nearly nine years ago. Klitschko has fought 12 times since and not one bout lasted past 11 rounds.

Vitali Klitschko crushed Chris Arreola's dream of becoming the first Mexican-American world heavyweight champion. Photo Credit: Pavel Terekhov

Vitali Klitschko crushed Chris Arreola's dream of becoming the first Mexican-American world heavyweight champion. Photo Credit: Pavel Terekhov

Klitschko’s two losses to Chris Byrd (2000) and Lennox Lewis (2003) were TKO defeats as the result of injuries suffered. Klitschko was ahead on the scorecards when suffered a shoulder injury against Byrd and a signature Lewis right hand opened a cut above Klitschko’s left eye leading to a physician’s stoppage of the contest.

Klitschkos, Valuev unique size a factor

Three fighters control portions of the world heavyweight championship.

Vitali, along with IBF/WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko, are the only two brothers to simultaneously hold pieces of the world heavyweight championship. Wladimir is as tall as his 6-foot-7 elder sibling. The Klitschkos have been a dominant pair.

Nikolai Valuev is the WBA heavyweight champion. He stands at 7-feet-3 and 325 pounds.

Heavyweights that wish to relinquish either the Klitschko’s grasp of the heavyweight crown or Valuev’s possession of the WBA title, they have to deal with the size factor

The Klitschkos have used their size, strength, and boxing skills to dominate the heavyweight title scene. They are a combined 11-0, 10 KOs in world title fights during the last 3 ½ years. The list of heavyweights includes former champions: Chris Byrd, Samuel Peter, Ruslan Chagaev, Lamon Brewster, and Hasim Rahman.

Overall, the Klitschko have appeared in a combined 26 world title fights since 1999. In the last decade, the Klitschkos appear to be getting better and stronger.

Valuev maybe the biggest, but he’s also the most vulnerable. Valuev has shown vulnerability in his title fights against John Ruiz, Evander Holyfield, and was even out-boxed by a 5-foot-10 Ruslan Chagaev during his only loss on record.

Valuev’s next defense of the WBA title will commence on November 7, against former WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight champion David Haye. Haye, who fought only once at heavyweight last year, is slightly favored to beat the much slower, less athletic, but strong and durable champion.