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Wladimir Klitschko W 12 Mariusz Wach
HAMBURG, GERMANY (BASN)—Wladimir Klitschko successfully defended his unified IBF/WBA, WBO/IBO, and Ring Magazine heavyweight championships for the 13th time last Saturday in his second reign. In front of a packed house at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany, Klitschko (59-3, 51 KOs) won a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Mariusz Wach (27-1, 15 KOs).
The judges scored the bout 120-107, 120-108, and 119-109 for Klitschko.
The fight was significant because for the first time in nine years, Klitschko fought without the services of longtime friend and legendary trainer Emmanuel Steward. The famous trainer and HBO Boxing analyst died on October 25, after a lengthy illness. Klitschko was heavy in training while rumors of Steward’s health widely surfaced. It was depressing, as Klitschko was forced to train while his friend/trainer was dying.
Klitschko named Jonathan Banks, a current sparring partner and heavyweight contender, as his new head trainer immediately after Steward’s death.
It was Steward that converted Klitschko from a ‘bust’ and ‘deadman walking’ to one of the most destructive forces in heavyweight championship boxing history. Steward was an architect, an Einstein. Klitschko was a hard-hitting, punching machine known as ‘Dr. Steel Hammer.’
In wake of Steward’s passing, Klitschko was determined to continue the journey both he and proficient against Wach.
“I have a lot of respect for Mariusz Wach,” Klitschko said. “I didn’t know a man could take so much punishment, but he kept going. There was no shot that would take him out.”
Through the years, we’ve watched Klitschko dismantle one opponent to the next. Those to have lasted the distance with Klitschko in recent years (David Haye, Sultan Ibragimov) survived because Klitschko simply couldn’t ‘catch ‘em.’
Mariusz Wach was there for Klitschko to ‘catch.’ Wach caught every solid, precise shot that Klitschko delivered, but the 6, 7 1/2″ remained standing. It didn’t matter though, as Wach was Klitschko’s punching bag for twelve rounds. It was amazing to see the Wach absorb the punishment that was inflicted upon him for so long.
Wach nearly hit the lottery in the fifth round when he seriously hurt Klitschko with a hard right hand to the head. The champion leaned against the ropes only to quickly recover and re-establish control of the fight.
Klitschko is 36 years old with 62 professional fights. He hasn’t lost in nearly 10 years and appears to be getting better in time. Klitschko, aside from his older brother and WBC heavyweight champion Vitali, the most dominant heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis. There is no one on the horizon that can unseat Klitschko. The American heavyweights simply do not have the physical talent of a Klitschko. It’s as though Wladimir Klitschko can fight forever.