The Klitschko Division
By Mark Hepplestall: There are currently 3 recognized world champions in the heavyweight division, who are Vitali Klitschko (WBC), Wladimir Klitschko (IBO, WBO and IBF) and David Haye (WBA). These three world champions are leagues above the current contenders and hot prospects, this can be seen by looking at the worlds heavyweight rankings which shows that the majority with the exception of Tomasz Adamek have challenged for a world title and lost miserably to either Wladimir Klitschko or Vitali Klitschko, two of the three boxers that David Haye has fought since moving up to heavyweight have now retired. The heavyweight division is dominated by the Klitschko brothers who have unbelievable technical ability, a bulletproof defence, power matched only by David Haye in my opinion and most importantly tactical superiority. Unfortunately the majority of the heavyweight contenders are very one dimensional relaying on landing a big shot, this direct power game can be easily out worked and out smarted. Also the Klitschko brothers have pretty much beaten everyone worth beating (once Vitali beats Shannon Briggs, which will be very similar to Wlad Vs Peter II) except David Haye and after that fight there will be nobody left, so who is left ? rumors have it Wladimir’s next fight if not with Haye will be against Jean Marc Mormeck, and that will be even more one sided then Wlad Vs Peter.
1. Ruslan Chagaev, beaten in a one sided fight against Wladimir Klitschko, but now the mandatory challenger to David Haye’s World Boxing Association title, however this fight is very unlikely to happen due to public pressure for the Wladimir Klitschko fight, and most importantly Chagaev has Hepatitis B, which is an incurable disease spread by blood to blood contact, this is very troublesome for Chagaev to make fights as any cuts that develop in fights could spread the disease. Furthermore boxers cannot get a license in the UK or USA with Hepatitis B, which would restrict any possible fight to Eastern Europe and I doubt Haye would travel into hostile territory to fight, as he isn’t the most loved of the heavyweight champions.
2. Tomasz Adamek, is a Former light heavyweight world champion and former cruiserweight world champion. Adamek flew in under the radar in the heavyweight division, he never made noise and took his time working his way up by fighting journeymen and an overrated hype job in Arreola. The fact he isn’t fighting quality opponents is a major worry, as soon he will have to jump up in quality from people who have lost 5 fights to Vitali Klitschko who could beat Adamek’s opponents with one arm. Adamek possesses good skills; good movement but lacks much needed power and speed. In fact since moving up two weight divisions Adamek has lost large amounts of speed and has not added power with the weight he has added. Good fight would be Adamek Vs Haye
3. Alexander Povetkin, former Olympic gold medallist, backed out of the Wladimir Klitschko fight because his trainer thought he was not ready for the fight, which is true as he is still a youngster in boxing terms only having 19 fights against questionable opposition. His best attributes are his power and technical ability; he is not a one dimensional fighter like the current contenders. Possibly a future world champion when Vitali retires.
4. Alexander Dimitrenko, lost once to Eddie Chambers and that was his only step up in opposition. Dimitrenko is now the number one contender to the EBU title and was thought to be fighting Audley Harrison before he got a title shot against David Haye. Overall Alexander Dimitrenko is very one dimensional, just a power puncher, maybe a threat to David Haye yet no threat to Vitali or Wladimir.
5. Denis Boytsov, undefeated Russian boxer who sports a 27(22)-0(0)-0 record, possesses great power, technical ability and great movement. Also he moves away from the overweight heavyweight image to more of a ripped physical specimen like the top 4 heavyweights in the world. Possible future world champion, needs to face better opposition maybe time to challenge for the EBU.
6. Odlanier Solis, not ready for a title fight, not even actively boxing had 16 fights and the biggest fight was against Monte Barrett. Solis is 30 years old and needs to keep very active in this younger stage of his career, maybe needs to fight against a top contender like Juan Carlos Gomez to make some waves in stagnant heavyweight pond.
Additional mentions include Alexander Ustinov, who is not progressing as quickly as needed. Ustinov is now 33 years old and most notably beat Paolo Vidoz and Monte Barrett. Maybe a bout against Dimitrenko would help the winner shoot up the world rankings.
I cannot think of any American boxers who deserve a mention and the likes of Derek Chisora and Tyson fury have not even become the best in Britain yet never mind the world. However British heavyweight scene is on the up and a true contender may be present in the next 4 years.