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Why a prime Mike Tyson beats Vitali Klitschko

By Joss Gooseman:

The blueprint
Derek Chisora just showed the world how Vitali Klitschko could be beaten. Problem was, Chisora didn’t have the proper tools to do the job. He is not a devastating puncher, and he couldn’t get his timing on his shots. But one thing he showed is that he managed to get into effective firing range, only he didn’t fire any shot when there were openings, and believe me, there were a lot. He said it himself in the interview after the fight – “When I got inside, though, I wasn’t working.” But he showed that his upper body movement unexpectedly presented Vitali Klitschko with difficulties. He made Klitschko miss most of his shots. Right hooks on the inside in particular. They just hit the air over Chisora’s head.

Yell “Timber!”
What is the method to fell a tree? That is what Chisora showed us in this fight. When he got into range, he fired right hooks to the body of Vitali Klitschko, reddening the area. Another thing to note is that after the fourth round, Vitali wasn’t able to engage his stiff jab, a clear indication that he was hurting from all those body shots.

Now the big question is – imagine those body shots fired by a prime Mike Tyson. The right hook to the body, which is one of Tyson’s trademark punches, is the prelude to his uppercuts. They are so devastating, they make his opponents lower their guards, opening the chance to unleash the uppercuts and hooks to the head. Just one of those shots from Tyson will, believe me, do more damage than just redness or soreness. Those incapacitating hooks to the body will be more than enough to yell “timber!” and watch the tree fall to the ground.

The old cliché – styles makes fights
Many people will say that Vitali is now starting to show his age. Maybe. But I beg to differ up to a point. He never deviated from his fighting style since day one when he turned to professional boxing from kickboxing. He has always that way, in that he uses his height and reach superbly. He was not sluggish at all. He even showed us that he can still move quickly with his feet and trunk to avoid those punches from Chisora. In this fight, we all saw his mobility and quickness. It was mainly the style of Chisora that made the difference. You can not, will not, out box a guy who has all the advantages of height and reach. So the slugger-brawler fighter is the one with the most chances of successfully beating Vitali Klitschko. The only ingredients missing in Chisora are two things that once made Tyson the most feared fighter in the world- his blazing hand speed and his awesome power. To put in further, not one of Klitschko’s opponents had those traits. He was even ahead on the score cards on the two occasions that he lost, even in the fight with Lennox Lewis. Viltali Klitschko never, in his whole career faced the likes of a Smokin’ Joe, or an Iron Mike, and when faced with a poor version in Dereck Chisora, he was faced with difficulties. He never had that swollen red area on his left side. He missed a lot of his shots when he’s known as a surgically precise puncher. It can be said a trillion times, but the meaning and significance of the phrase will never diminish, “styles makes fights” will always hold true.

Moving bullseye
Vitali Klitschko admitted it himself that he found Chisora hard to hit. With the agressive style of Chisora reminiscent of Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Klitschko found it difficult to time his punches. But since Chisora is slower than Frazier, or Tyson with his upper body movements, Klitschko managed to land a few significant shots, particularly with his straight right and a few uppercuts. Vitali is not known to fire quick multi-shot combos, he’s mainly an accurate single-shot puncher, maybe two or three punch combinations at the most.

Now, Tyson’s body movements are significantly quicker than those of Chisora’s, making him harder to hit, hence more effective. A lower Mike Tyson, bobbing and weaving, being smaller, hence, being harder target to hit, getting into range, firing those right hooks to the body, will eventually hurt Vitali. Another factor is that Chisora, not only does not have the devastating punching power of Tyson, but he also doesn’t have fast hands. Both skills being what made Tyson so destructive in his prime. Vitali himself admitted to that fact in his interview – ““I saw every punch from Chisora. He’s a little bit slow. If Chisora was much faster, then I might’ve had a problem. I saw almost every punch.” And that sentence from Vitali Klitschko himself says it all.

I respect and admire the Klitschko brothers. Both with PhDs, both the epitome of professionalism, so cool and calm even with suppressed anger at the brash antics of the likes of Dereck Chisora and David Haye. The brothers are in a class of their own. I respect them for what they achieved in the sports of boxing.

But if they were in the same era with Mike Tyson in his full prime before Cus D’Amato’s death, the sliding, bobbing, weaving, peek-a-boo Mike Tyson, then I see Iron Mike prevailing over Dr. Ironfist. I can even say that a prime Smokin’ Joe Frazier would have had a more than decent chance of beating Vitali Klitschko.
It could have been an exciting fight and what the division needs so desperately now. The heavyweight division is in dire need of talents to get out again into the mainstream of global sports. If not for that “slap”, this fight would not have created the worldwide buzz it did.

On a side note, maybe, much like Floyd Mayweather after watching Manny Pacquiao go life and death with Marquez, maybe David Haye will see that Vitali is not unbeatable after all and will come out of retirement to face him, but then I ask, will anybody care at this point?

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