Wladimir Klitschko, boring or just that good vs. Samuel Peter
By Matt Muranaka: The Klitschko brothers are often times thought of in the world of boxing, as simply boring. With most of American fight fans not really showing any real support beyond the two Ukrainian brothers that have a combined: 100 fights, 95 wins, 5 losses, and 87 ko’s. This is the reason why they are mega superstars in Germany, and why Klitschko (55-3,49KO’s ) vs Peters (34-4, 27KO’s) II had around 40,000 people in attendance. But the question remains why do boxing fans across the Atlantic in America rag on such a “mega superstar” in Germany.
Teddy Atlas brought up a great point in one of his many little small stabs at the Wladimir Klitschko. In Europe all they have is soccer and boxing mostly. They do not have Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez (more importantly UFC or MAA) etc to keep the population from diverting its money to other venues and other sports. But he did not bring up the main question that I wanted to hear from such a man with such high creditably in boxing; Why do the American boxing fans not support the Klitschko brothers that have wrecked the heavyweight division as of late? HBO the main king of the ring for main events opted out to air the W. Klitschko vs S. Peter II rematch, pretty much stating that they are boring to watch. Thank God that ESPN was able to air it for free on ESPN3, and re air it on ESPN the following Sunday. It had a great build up to the fight, factoring in the appeal to the last couple of fights that Wlad has had. Coming into the fight Samuel Peter was the last man to knock down Wlad 5 years ago, and three times in the fight. Fighters learn from their mistakes and improve on it. Some writers on this site go as far as to posting articles on brainwashing themselves that, Since Peters was the last to do so he already knows the way to victory with some improvements. But more often than not, you have to look at the Champion of that fight, Wlad. And since Wlad is the current IBF, WBO, IBO, and Ring Magazine champion he must act like a true champion and learn from his errors that could have cost him what could have potentially been a close fight and possible knock out hits from connecting. You have to remember, Wlad being knocked down three times and still winning by unanimous decision means 2 things. The judges all made terrible decisions which we all do see from time to time, or he dominated the fight that much to get the win. “But what about the clinching”, the famous words that will probably follow Wladimir Klitschko to the grave by American boxing fans. Is clinching not part of the sport in boxing? Especially in the heavyweight division these days, the quote to complainers should be “clinching its going to happen.” The real question that haters of the Klitschko brothers need to ask themselves is, “How can you complain when a boxer does effective clinching.” And for the other writers they need to remember (AS MY OLD GREAT TRAINER USE TO TELL ME) “It takes two to tango in a clinch” – Teddy Atlas.
Wladimir has many tools in his arsenal now as Emmanuel Steward has gone on record comparing Wlad to hall of famer Lennox Lewis; “Lewis was a more versatile fighter, he could completely restructure the course of a fight. But in terms of boxing arsenal – Wladimir. But he is still very young, and I think he still has a chance in a couple of years to become one of the best in boxing history. However, his problem is a lack of decent opponents. Povetkin ran away, Haye also ran from both Wladamir and Vitali.” But with such effective clinching that was shown last Saturday, the question arises when, shall we ever get to see such tools? Is Klitschko that good in landing his shots and then tying up his opponent, or what I personally think, the heavyweight division is in such great turmoil, and despair that they can keep getting away with this for many more years? To me, Wladimir is the best heavyweight in the world today in this moment in time. By no means do I dare say what Dr. Ironfist, Vitiali Klitschko (40-2, 38KO’s) has stated recently by comparing Wladimir to Ali. But with other fighters dodging the champion, has to really hurt your head in thinking, what has boxing come to. But that’s for another article.
Was Wladimir punishing Samuel? You have to ask yourself that question once ESPN put up the final punch numbers. I mean why go in for the clinch when Peter landed single # shots in every round, and only a handful where flush shots… He went 35 for 199, with 9 jabs landing out of 51. That’s not bad if you look at the height advantage that Peter was up against, The Nigerian Nightmare is only 6 ft 2 in with a 77 inch reach. That’s pretty good but compared to Dr. Steelhammer, 6 ft 6.5 inches and 81 inch reach. You have to realize that Peters was not going in with a solid game plan around jabbing. Peter was looking for those impressive power shots. Well landing 26 power shots out of 35 total punches landed is a pretty good percentage, until you realize that wasn’t a throwback “IRON” Mike Tyson round. Out of 148 Power shots, 26 landed. Fight totals being Wladimir 142 out of 499 28% landed for Dr. Steelhammer, and for the Nigerian Nightmare 35 out of 199 18%. Was Wladimir simply clinching onto Peter to punish him? Many times in the fight you can hear the ref telling Peters, “Your hands are free, your hands are free.” Peter just couldn’t dig deep enough I suppose, but in his defense landing 18% of your shots will surely discourage anyone if your opponent is throwing and landing more.
In the middle of the 9th going into the final round round, Emmanuel Steward tells Wladimir to stop clinching. And in the same cut round across the turnbuckle corner trainer Andy “Pops” Anderson could be heard, “I’ll give you one more round.” I guess Wladimir had enough at this point, landing that great combination to put Peters down for the first and last time of that fight. Total punches for that round Wladimir 16/38 42% to Samuel’s 1/7 14%. And with Peters actually looking relieved that it was all over when he got up from the KO, smiling at one point. He sort of resembled a child waking up from a nightmare to only realize that they are safe in their bed. You have to think is Wladimir the “Ukrainian Nightmare”… I kid, I kid.
Even tho Stewart came out saying missiles where going to be thrown at the beginning to get the Nigerian Nightmare out of there in a hussle. It looked more like the jab jab right hand combination, or jab left hook clinch, kind of fight that we all Americans have so come to love and adore from Wlad…. just kidding. I believe Wlad won that fight convincingly and decisive. Even though some other columnist seem to disagree with me, which is fine everyone has their own opinions that they are entitled to. But Wladimir and his team must have thought something similar as they already came out stating Tua (51-3-2, 43KO’s), Mormeck (35-4, 22KO’s) and Adamek (42-1, 27 KO’s) could be next for a December bout. That’s 3 fights in 9 months. Something must be going right for Wladimir, or Floyd Mayweather Jr. got into his bank account and Wladimir is broke.
So the question still arises, is Wlad that good where he can simply just use that combination we have come to known him to be and the master clinch artist. If Peters didn’t train for those simple combinations and clinching right after tactics, you have to wonder why did he want a rematch to begin with? Or if he did train and learn from their first meeting, is Wladimir that talented to the naked eye, and only the man across from him really comprehends the danger of Dr. Steelhammer?
This was my first article, as I am a great fan of boxing and have really liked the community that makes this boxingnews24 great. Please leave any kind of feedback, thank you for your time as this is a long article.