Klitschko spells KO!

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: March 18, 2010

NEW YORK (BASN) — Unified IBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (53-3, 47 KOs) of Ukraine will defend his titles against WBO No. 1-ranked, Eddie Chambers (35-1, 18 KOs) of Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Klitschko, the best heavyweight in the world according to many inside scribes and fighters, will be appearing in his 17th world championship fight in front of more than 50,000 people at the ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.

A lot of people are not giving Chambers much of a shot at upsetting Klitschko. Sure Chambers beat a few quality heavyweights that include former WBC heavyweight titlist Sam Peter and previously unbeaten Alexander Dimitrenko last year.

Sure Chambers has fast hands and is training extremely hard. However, Klitschko is “Dr. Steel Hammer.” At 6-feet-7 and 245 pounds, Klitschko has exceptional power and uses distance to control his fights.

Chambers at 6-feet-1, approximately 215 pounds will prove competitive, but doesn’t have the power or the style to upset Klitschko. Chambers could very well be too small for Wladimir.

Following two shocking knockout losses to Corrie Sanders (2003) and Lamon Brewster (2004), Klitschko, under the guidance of the legendary Emmanuel Steward, has established a firm grip on the heavyweight division.

Klitschko, a gold medal winner at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, re-established credibility in September 2005 by surviving three knockdowns to win a close unanimous decision over former heavyweight titlist Samuel Peter. Klitschko stunned Peter with a stiff left to the chin that badly wobbled him in the final round.

In April 2006, he ended American Chris Byrd’s three-year reign as IBF champion with a thrilling seventh-round knockout.

Wladimir Klitschko’s title defenses (since April ’06)

1. Calvin Brock (11/11/06) – Klitschko’s first defense of the IBF heavyweight championship occurred in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Klitschko selected an undefeated, up and coming, American heavyweight in Calvin Brock.

Klitschko attacked Brock with powerful left jabs, but was very patient.

Klitschko used his 6-foot-7, 245-pound size and reach to control the pace of the fight. Brock really didn’t have answer for Klitschko, who flattened Brock with a booming left-jab, right cross combination to score a knockout at 2:10 seconds of round seven.

2. Ray Austin (3/10/07) – Klitschko returned to Germany to face IBF mandatory contender Ray Austin. Klitschko said afterward that his sparring partners were better, as the champion beat Austin with one-arm. Wladimir didn’t even throw a single punch using his right hand. Referee Eddie Cotton waved the fight off at 1:23 of the second round after Klitschko landed a series of vicious left hooks to Austin’s head. Austin was down for the count.

3. Lamon Brewster (7/7/07) – For the first time in Klitschko’s career, he had an opportunity to avenge a defeat. In a rematch of their wild 2004 WBO title slugfest that saw Klitschko dominate, but run out of gas and stopped in the fifth round by Lamon Brewster, Klitschko dominated impressively. Unlike the first encounter, Klitschko used his range wisely and Brewster simply didn’t have an answer aside from charging straight into Wladimir’s left jab. Brewster took too many jabs and right crosses which led to trainer and former WBC welterweight champion, James Buddy McGirt to stop the fight after the sixth round.

4. Sultan Ibragimov (2/23/08) – The goal has always been to unify the the world heavyweight championship.

Wladimir took one-step forward by putting his IBF title against WBO titlist Sultan Ibragimov in February 2008 at Madison Square Garden.

At 60foot-1 and 215 pounds, the Russian southpaw was simply too small and defensive for the much taller and imposing Klitschko. Klitschko won the fight by his willingness to engage and make Ibragimov retreat.

Klitschko’s size and range made very difficult for Ibgragimov to mount any serious offense. All three judges scored the bout 119-110, 118-110, 117-111 for the newly unified IBF/WBO heavyweight champion.

5. Tony Thompson (7/12/08) – Klitschko fulfilled his obligation of making a mandatory WBO title defense. Tony Thompson, another American heavyweight contender, proved to be the biggest fighter Klitschko has fought since losing to Corrie Sanders. Like Sanders, the 6-feet-5, the Washington, D.C. native was a southpaw. Also, Thompson was riding an eight-year unbeaten streak.

Wladimir appeared to have difficulty landing his right hand because of Thompson’s size and level of competitiveness. However, Thompson simply didn’t have the firepower to threaten Klitschko. Once Klitschko was able to figure out Thompson’s style, he was able to wear his challenger down late in the contest landing jabs and eventually landing his right hand cleanly. A solid right hand to the face too Thompson out at 1:38 seconds of the eleventh round.

6. Ruslan Chagaev (6/20/09) – Klitschko was suppose to fight former unified WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight champion David Haye in front of 61,000 at Veltins Arena in Germany, but Haye pulled out. Chagaev, the WBA heavyweight “champion in recess” stepped-up and was beaten down. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound heavyweight was knocked down for the first time in his career. Klitschko was punishing Chagaev with jabs and crosses in front of an energized audience.

Chagaev, whose heavyweight belt wasn’t on the line, quit on his stool after the ninth round.

The Klitschko’s rule

Entering his fourth year during his second stint as a world heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, along with older brother, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, are the only siblings to simultaneously hold world heavyweight titles.

The legendary Spinks brothers, both Michael and Leon, are the first brothers to win the heavyweight title but they never reigned at the same time. The Klitschkos are 6-feet-7, 245 pounds and have power in both hands.

They have defeated every top heavyweight challenger thrown at them. Overall, the Klitschkos are an astonishing (23-4, 20 KOs) in world title fights.

While Wladimir fought once in 2009, older brother Vitali defended his WBC title three times last year. Since ending a near four-year retirement by claiming the title from Samuel Peter (TKO 8) in October 2008, Vitali has beaten Juan Carlos Gomez, Chris Arreola, and Kevin Johnson.

Vitali Klitschko (39-2, 37 KOs) is scheduled to make his fourth title defense on May 29 in Germany against Albert Sosnowski (45-2-1, 27 KOs) of Poland.