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How would Wladimir Klitschko have done against Kevin Johnson?

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By Sean McDaniel: After last Saturday night’s fight between World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and challenger Kevin Johnson, Wladimir Klitschko, the younger brother of Vitali, attempted to go over and separate Johnson and Vitali, both of whom were standing and looking as if they might continue to trade after the bell. However, no sooner had Wladimir put his hands on Johnson’s back, Kevin whirled around and pushed Wladimir. It looked for a second like Johnson might throw a roundhouse right at Wladimir.

It was a good thing that Wladimir didn’t lose his temper and fire back at Johnson with a punch, because things could have really gotten out of hand at that point and Johnson might have gotten badly hurt. But it made me wonder what would have happened if it was Wladimir in the ring against Johnson instead of Vitali.

Would Wladimir had done a better job against Johnson, who looked like his sole intention was to lay on the ropes and mainly throw jabs all night long. Because Johnson failed to throw any real power punches during his fight with Vitali, he ended up losing by a one-sided 12 round decision.

However, Johnson was able to mark Vitali up with his excellent jabs and occasional sneaky right hands. Both of Vitali’s eyes looked were reddened and his right eye was cut. The problem for Vitali is that he didn’t have the jab to pound away at Johnson at the outside like Wladimir would have likely done. Vitali, instead, was forced to go after Johnson and try to bomb him out with punches.

Vitali didn’t have the hand speed and accuracy needed to hurt Johnson with anything, although he tried hard, throwing more than 1000 punches during the fight. With Johnson leaning against the ropes, he was the perfect target for Vitali. However, Vitali found it hard to connect with much accuracy and ended up missing a high number of his punches.

So would Wladimir done a better job against Johnson? I think he would have. If Johnson had adopted the same rope-a-dope strategy that he used against Vitali on Saturday night, I feel that Wladimir would have taken him apart. The reason is because Wladimir would have been able to nail with hard jabs from the outside and soften him up for right hands.

Johnson may have a good jab, but it’s not nearly as powerful as Wladimir’s. It would have been a route if Johnson had stayed on the ropes the way he did on Saturday night against Vitali. Wladimir would have teed off on him with jabs, left hooks and right hands all night long.

Johnson might have a good chin, but I don’t see him being able to hold up under the punishment that Wladimir would have inflicted on him. Johnson had better hand speed than Vitali, and that was one of the problems that Vitali had in trying to land many of his big shots. Wladimir, however, has much better hand speed and power than Johnson, and he’d have little problems landing his left hooks and right hands.

It would be a minor miracle for Johnson to hold up for 12 rounds against Wladimir if he stayed on the ropes all night long. Even if Wladimir didn’t hurt Johnson with one of his big shots, his face would have likely broken down with the punishment that Wladimir would have inflicted upon him with his jabs, left hooks and right hands. I can’t see Johnson lasting more than six or seven rounds against Wladimir if he fought the same way he did against Vitali. Wladimir does well against fighters that stay on the ropes.

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