A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
What Klitschko and Mayweather Have in Common: Boxing Is Their Life
Klitschko and Mayweather are similar in one important respect, for them boxing is their life. After Vitali beat up Chris Areola, Jim Lampley made the observation to beat the Klitschkos’ brothers, you have to view boxig 24/7; something that Areola did not have a reputation of doing in between bouts. Mayweather is no difference as he stays in fighting shape all year round. And this explains both the Klitschko’ brothers and Mayweather’s successes.
There is a tendency to underrate the Klitschko’s brothers but it is time to give them their due as heavyweight champions. The numbers speak for themselves, Vitali won nine heavyweight championships in a row and that includes a four year hiatus due to back problems and his younger brother has won now 18 in a row plus 23 total championship bouts. Wladimir won championship bouts than his last opponent, Bryant Jennings total bouts fought
While the pundits will complain that Klitschko did not destroy Jennings, he did adopt to the referee in the middle of the ring as the referee made it clear that he would not allow Klitschko to hold and use his weight to tire his opponent out while defusing the opponent’s attack. Jennings landed good solid body shots throughout the bout but rarely could he get a consistent offense going and admitted that his difficulty in landing head shots was due to Klitschko’s defensive skills.
The first knock on Wladimir was his glass jaw, something that hasn’t been a problem for over a decade or since the first Peter fight in which Wladimir survived three knockdowns to win a unanimous decision and the second knock was the quality of opposition. The closet that either fighter came to a defining fight was Vitali loss to Lennix Lewis in 2003. Alas, you fight what’s in front of you and during the height of the Joe Louis era; Joe Louis had his bum of the month club in which he mostly destroyed the heavyweight division in the late 30’s and early 40’s. The bum of the month was an adequate description of the quality of much of Joe Louis opponents as he wiped out what was the heavyweight division. After you eliminated the top dozen or so, you start running out of opponents and the Klitschko’s brothers are running out of opponents since they have beaten most of the best heavyweights.
Numbers sometimes lies but in this case to win 18 championship bouts in a row, regardless of the overall competition is impressive enough. While I rate the Klitschko’s brothers below the previous generation of heavyweights led by Lennox Lewis; it is time to at least consider that they do have a place in boxing history as Hall of Fame fighters. I will add that the Lewis era may have been one of the best era for heavyweights only to be outshined by the early 1970’s which featured Joe Frazier, George Foreman and of course, Muhammed Ali. The 1990’s saw Riddick Bowe, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis who proved to the best of that era. Like Larry Holmes, the Klitschko’s brothers will finally get their recognition years down the road.
Which brings us to Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather is a boxer who views boxing as his career. Floyd Mayweather has shown over the years the adaptability against a wide variety of opponents and like the Klitschko’s, many pundits would criticize the opponents he has fought. Realistically speaking, he has beaten everyone in front of him and he has defeated his share of Hall of Fame fighters or soon to be Hall of Fame fighters. What may be impressive is that at the age of 38, Mayweather still have much of his skills left and while he is not the fighter of four of five years ago, no one has yet to find a way to beat him. Pacquiao has many outside interest including his singing career and his political career but Floyd views boxing as his life both as a fighter in the ring and a promoter outside as his career. I once observed that Floyd Mayweather is a business man who fights but I may have it backward, Mayweather is a fighter who views boxing as his business.
Floyd Mayweather will win simply because he is the better fighter than Pacquiao at this stage in their careers. Just as Klitschko proved to be the fresher fighter at the end of his unanimous decision victory over Jennings as he won the final two rounds of the bout, Mayweather will prove to be the better fighter over the second half of his fight against Pacquiao. Provided he doesn’t stop Pacquiao sooner, which is a real possibility. I am betting on the fighter who views boxing as his life as oppose to his hobby.