Wladimir Klitschko, Unluckiest Boxer of All-Time
By ALBERT CHOI: “Heavyweight boxing is dead”. How many times have we heard that saying before? On October 5th of this month, 2013, WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO Heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko took on undefeated Russian Alexander Povetkin. A fight where it was getting coverage like the Super Bowl in Europe was relatively not known at all in the United States.
After outpointing Povetkin, Klitschko remained the undisputed Heavyweight champion of the world but not everybody knows his name. Back when Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis were fighting, the biggest celebrity was the World Heavyweight Champion. However, these days not many people know who Wladimir Klitschko is other than the fact that he is engaged to Hayden Panettiere.
During the past few years, the claims that heavyweight boxing is dead has been lingering in the minds of boxing experts and casual sports fans due to the fact that America does not have a heavyweight. Look at Floyd Mayweather, a fighter who represents the U.S. Although many people don’t like him, at the end of the day, Mayweather is an American fighter. Fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Gennady Golovkin have also gotten the recognition by coming to the U.S. and beating some of the fighters that America has produced. However, in Wladimir’s case, he never had that opportunity due to the fact that American heavyweight boxing is nothing like it used to be.
Since there is no true American heavyweight contender, people are using the term “heavyweight boxing is dead”. Names like Deontay Wilder and Bryant Jennings are beginning to surface. Those fighters are simply not tested enough for them to get a shot at a championship. The entire notion not only affects Wladimir Klitschko’s status as a fighter, but also his place in history.
The notion that Klitschko will never be seen as a heavyweight great has been a popular idea among fans due to the fact that “Dr. Steel Hammer” has been dominating heavyweight boxing so easily. It’s not the level of competition that is the problem, the true problem is that Wladimir Klitschko is simply too good for his own good.
During the past 7 years, Klitschko has beaten basically everybody except his brother, WBC heavyweight champ, Vitali Klitschko. Obviously, the reason for why that fight is not being made is due to the fact that they are brothers. Other than that, nobody has really caused Wladimir Klitschko any problems at all. When looking at his resume, the credentials for being an all-time great are all there. Won an Olympic Gold at the 1996 Olympic Games, 2nd longest reigning heavyweight champion behind the great Joe Louis. And has the 3rd most title fights in heavyweight history, only behind Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali. Although I’m not saying that Wladimir Klitschko is the greatest heavyweight of all time (I believe that distinction goes to Joe Louis), Klitschko has a good argument for why he should be in the top ten when it comes to the great heavyweights of all time. One knock that people do have on Klitschko is his chin and his losses to fighters like Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, but his last professional loss was in 2004. Since then, Klitschko has dominated everybody and honestly, it hasn’t even been a close fight where Klitschko win has caused any controversy. Like the famous quote, “It’s how you finish, not how you start”, Klitschko has proven that since that fight against Brewster. Where he has been so dominant, that people will eventually start looking for holes in his game (ask Lebron James that). Overall, the timing and perception of boxing especially heavyweight boxing will always affect the way Wladimir Klitschko legacy plays out. In the end, Klitschko is the unluckiest man when it comes to boxing.
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