2009- The End Of The Line For The Klitschko Brothers And Valuev?
By Tom Stokes: For the past several years the eastern Europeans have become somewhat a staple in the heavyweight boxing division, much to the dislike of many boxers and boxing fans alike, calling them slow, fat, boring. Now the current champions (all eastern Europeans): Nikolay Valuev, Vitali Klitschko and Wladimir Klitschko are all putting their titles on the line against some good competition, so are these challengers going to be another walk in the park for the champions or are their reigns over the heavyweight division slowly drawing to a close?
First up on the 26th of September, Chris Arreola (27-0) will be looking to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion by taking on Vitali Klitschko (37-2) for the WBC title, this is a massive step up in class for Arreola, although undefeated he’s never faced anyone with Vitali’s skill and strength, his opponents so far have been B level, and recently in his last few outings to the ring he’s looked less than impressive, looking out of shape and being knocked down by Travis Walker (31-3) before knocking him out in the 3rd round.
Arreola can’t afford to let Vitali bully him around or else the fight will be over before its even began. But Arreola is said to be getting back into shape and improving his diet, and if he does enter the ring in shape he could cause problems for Vitali, he’s got the raw power and talent, but Vitali has never been stopped, it’s a big task for Arreola.
Next Nikolay Valuev (50-1) is putting his WBA title on the line against former cruiserweight champion David Haye (22-1) on the 7th of November, this could turn out to be a true David and Goliath match up, if Haye can use his speed to evade Valuev’s punches, and then land his big shots on the chin of Valuev he could knock him out.
I wouldn’t rule Haye out to cause an upset, he’s a knock out fighter he’s only been the distance once in his pro career and I don’t think he’s planning on letting the fight go to the scorecards, especially since Valuev has been saved by the score cards in recent fights, by clinching the majority decision against Holyfield and a split decision against Ruiz.
But its tall order for Haye as Valuev’s size doesn’t make it easy for his opponents, and although he’s not the hardest punching heavyweight champ, Haye known to be chinny so one punch could be all Valuev needs to swing the fight in his favour.
Finally “Fast” Eddie Chambers (35-1) is expected to be the next challenger for WBO/IBF/IBO champion Wladimir Klitschko (53-3) on September 12th if negotiations happen as expected. In previous trips to the ring Chambers hasn’t been in excellent shape, coming in at 223lbs for his fight against Samuel Peter (31-3) which he won via majority decision, but for his last outing a WBO heavyweight title eliminator, he weighed in at a trim 208lbs against the then undefeated Alexander Dimitrenko (29-1), who was 6inches taller and 45lbs heavier, but chambers showed size doesn’t matter and gave Dimitrenko a boxing lesson over 12 rounds using his speed and boxing skill to keep Dimitrenko at bay.
Now Klitschko is slightly smaller and lighter then Dimitrenko, so this won’t bother Chambers he can handle to size difference, something that maybe Wladimir’s previous opponents struggled with, this must have Wladimir concerned. So could Chambers pull off the upset and beat Wladimir, if Chambers did win it would be a decision win I can’t see him knocking Wladimir out, he would have to use his speed to get past Wlad’s jab and land his shots on the inside. When this fight does happen it should be a lot more exciting than Wlad’s previous fights.
The challengers above may not be the toughest competition the champions have faced but they are young, and hungry and ready to cause an upset and end the reign of these giants from the east, it’s a big ask from all 3 challengers, but this is boxing one punch can change it all. So do these heavyweight challengers have what it takes to win? All will be revealed in the ring.
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