Come in Mr (Wladimir) Klitschko, your time is up
(photo: michaelsterlingeaton.com) By Ian Vaughan: Before I begin, let’s get it clear: old IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3 (50)) is the best heavyweight out there. He has made vast improvements in his game with regards to defence, technical ability and maximizing his strengths since Lamon Brewster so many years ago. His consistent athleticism, speed and conditioning have all led to his current 16 fight winning streak.
In the last 7 years he has amassed 14 defences of his titles, has effectively destroyed all on-comers, and has ducked nobody (except his brother, but as Hatton said, ‘Their mammy won’t allow them to fight’).
This all adds up to what must surely be recognition of the fact that Wladimir Klitschko is now the greatest heavyweight of our time? But sadly, no. Many out there still see Vitali as the better fighter, they cite Corrie Sanders (RIP) 42,4(31) as a case in point, however I have a feeling all that is about to end…
Mariusz Wach (27(15)-0), the great, loping Pole with poor foot movement and no hope could be about to change the entire HW division. What can you say about this guy? Well let’s try comparing him to Sanders – poor foot movement, check – the element of surprise, check… Ok, ok so he aint a southpaw and he aint got fast hands but he has the edge with one heck of a right, the height, the reach and the motivation. One of Wladimir’s best attributes was Emmanuel Steward, whom he sadly does not have any more. Wladimir has little recognition for what he has achieved outside of the Ukraine and Germany and all the training and strategy in the world cannot negate a vulnerable chin (Khan, anyone?).
When Wladimir (and later Vitali) faced Corrie Sanders they had a man in front of them who would rather play golf than train (he once famously said he would never go back to boxing, not for a million bucks, and then fought Vitali), who could not compete with the movement and athleticism of either of the Klitschkos, who was not in great shape, and who only really had that magic left. And it was enough. He floored Wladimir four times, and hurt Mr un-hurtable- Vitali by basically wandering around looking to land a straight left. He looked like he was waiting for a bus in that fight against Vitali, had lost the shock and surprise tactics, but still managed to give him a huge scare!
And so to the point – if ‘The Viking’ Wach manages to connect his big gun to Wladimir’s head he will be world champion many times over – IBF, WBA Super, WBO,IBO, and what happens then? Wladimir likely picks up Vitali’s abandoned WBC strap and puts himself out to pasture fighting maybe once a year. Wach will beat Povetkin but lose to Pulev on points, the titles get cast to the four winds and suddenly a little excitement sparks over a long defunct division. The Ring belt could be picked up by Haye, heck even Jean Marc Mormeck could grab that IBO belt! And why not? All if Wach can land that magic right…