Klitschko defeats Peter but looks as boring as usual
By William Mackay: IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KO’s) probably didn’t do anything in his performance last Saturday night to change the minds of HBO executives to start showing Klitschko’s fights any time soon. Wladimir looked tentative for the most part in beating Samuel Peter (34-4, 27 KO’s) by a 10th round TKO. Klitschko mostly threw jabs and rarely threw any combinations in the fight. His offense was essentially limited to one punch at a time – either a left hook, jab or a right hand. Even when Peter’s right eye was nearly closed late in the fight, Wladimir still only threw one shot at a time and looked as if he was afraid of getting countered by the painfully slow Nigerian.
It wasn’t until Wladimir’s trainer Emanuel Steward lit a fire under Wladimir’s backside between the 9th and 10th rounds that Wladimir finally came out and threw some combinations. Once he did that, Peter wasn’t ready to take those kinds of heavy shots coming one after another. Peter quickly folded under the small avalanche of punches.
The win shows pretty much why Wladimir’s fights no longer get shown on HBO, and why he’s turned off a lot of fans due to his safety first approach to the Peter fight. Along with only throwing one punch at a time, Wladimir did an enormous amount of clinching in the fight. Wladimir was basically looking to clinch after every punch he threw or whenever Peter would come forward. Peter did a fair amount of clinching as well, but in looking at the fight a second time, it’s clear that most of the clinching was done by Wladimir.
Steward was against the clinching and told Wladimir to stop grabbing Peter late in the bout. Wladimir didn’t immediately follow Steward’s advice when he came out for the 10th round, as he clinched Peter repeatedly during the first minute of the round. However, Wladimir finally began to fight Peter and throw combinations. At that point, Pete went down fast.
It would have been nice had Wladimir elected to fight that way from the beginning of the fight instead of throwing one punch at a time and clinching frequently. He may have won over some of the HBO executives with an impressive performance. Instead, we got to see Wladimir fighting his usual dull fight, and looking to not get hit.
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