Is Wladimir Klitschko Unproven?
By William Mackay: Much has been made about the opponents that former cruiserweight champion David Haye (22-1, 21 KOs) has fought during his career, but little has been said about the many less than stellar opposition that IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (52-3, 46 KOs) has feasted on during his 13 year pro career.
In scrutinizing Wladimir’s record, there’s no career defining among his many wins, just a lot of average fighters in there. Some of them like Corrie Sanders, Ross Purity and Lamon Brewster, the three fighters that knocked Wladimir out during his career, would probably find it hard to compete with a knockout artist like Haye.
Those are the only losses on Klitschko’s resume, but the defeats kind of define Wladimir for what he is as a fighter. Wladimir’s a good heavyweight, but he’s beatable if his opponent can get in close to land a few well placed shots.
Coincidentally, Purity, Sanders and Brewster, are three fighters that put a little pressure on Wladimir, forcing him to fight hard going backwards. Whereas, with many of Wladimir’s other opponents like Hasim Rahman, Calvin Brock, Sultan Ibragimov, Chris Byrd, Danell Nicholson and Tony Thompson, Wladimir has been the one that has been allowed to come forward and do the attacking in the fight.
In looking at Wladimir’s entire resume, his top opponents during his career boil down to this bunch:
I don’t know about you, but I’m personally not all that impressed with that list of fighters. And what makes it even worse, is that Wladimir has been knocked out by three of the sixteen fighters on that list. A fourth fighter, Williamson, had Wladimir on the canvas in the 4th round and the fight was stopped in the 5th because of a cut that Wladimir suffered.
Who knows whether Klitschko would have gotten out of the remainder of that fight without getting knocked out by Williamson. I have a lot of respect for Wladimir being able to win the IBF and WBO titles, but his competition leaves a lot to be desired if you ask me.
I think Haye would beat the whole bunch of them without losing to any of them like Wladimir has in the past. I think there hasn’t been enough scrutiny given to the fighters that Wladimir actually holds wins against, because I can’t see any of them even being competitive with Haye.
Purity would have been a problem because of his huge size, great chin and powerful jab and right hand power. However, Haye would have likely boxed him and won by a decision.
Many of Klitschko’s prior wins can be dismissed almost immediately because of the lack of pressure that they put on him. If you give Wladimir the chance to fight on the outside with his jab, he often is able to win just by landing his shots from long range without the risk of getting hit.
Wladimir isn’t the type of fighter to get in close to try and land some body shots, because he realizes that he has a much better chance of winning by staying away and avoiding taking shots to his sometimes brittle chin.