Why the amazement over “The Brawl”?
By John F. McKenna (McJack): For almost a week the lead story in professional boxing has been “The Brawl” which occurred after last Saturday nights fight between challenger Dereck Chisora (15-3, 9 KO’s) and World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KO’s). The actual fight was interesting, but was only competitive due to the injury Vitali suffered to his left shoulder in the 3rd round.
The injury prevented “Dr. Ironfist” from using his signature punch, his punishing left jab. Vitali also uses his left hand as a rangefinder when he holds it down at his side and either throws his left jab, or hooks off the jab. Klitschko’s jab and left hook were none existent from the 3rd round h on as EPIX commentators Dan Rafael and Freddie Roach pointed out.
In the final rounds it was evident that Klitschko was in pain and had suffered some type of injury.
Still Vitali was able to dominate the brash Brit, Chisora, who only won two rounds at the most on most scorecards. Whatever else you say about “Del-Boy, he did come to fight and correctly attributed his loss to Klitschko’s experience. Still, inexplicably some boxing writers, aware of Vitali’s injury, now say his showing indicates that he is slowing down. I could not agree more that assessment. Without Klitschko’s signature left jab and the hook of his jab and the fact that he could not gauge the distance from his opponent as he normally does, it is pretty amazing that he did as well as he did.
Of course “Dr. Steelhammer” is now held to such a high standard that when he even loses a round it is taken by many in the boxing media as evidence that he is slowing down. I for one am not buying it. I feel sure that Vitali’s able trainer Fritz Sdunek would be the first to let him know if he though he was losing it. The one positive thing for Klitschk that came out of his fight with Chisora is that his injury will not require surgery.
It is kind of puzzling that many boxing officials, observers and writers have weighed in how horrified they are about “The Brawl” at the post fight press conference. It is my perception that it was bound to happen sooner or later and it amazing that such an occurrence has not happened before. Going all the way back to the days when then Cassius Clay began trash talking Sonny Liston so that he could get a shot at Liston’s heavyweight title, the potential has always been there for a full fledged brawl to erupt.
Years later when Muhammad Ali taunted Joe Frazier and referred to him as a gorilla and an “Uncle Tom”, again there was a sigh of relief when a brawl did not erupt. The reason no one cried out in horror at the time was that the verbal confrontations succeeded in raising the profile of the event and was good business. The bottom line is that it was tolerated because it brought in the green stuff.
In his statement to the press a couple of days ago former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye pretty much said the same thing. He engages in trash talk to raise the profile of the event.
Dereck Chisora’s actions before and after his fight with Vitali were indeed despicable and should not be defended. One does not have to have a degree in psychology however to ascertain that such an event was going to happen. For boxing officials now to feign hysteria and demand a lifetime ban for Dereck Chisora after similar conduct has been permitted for many years is somewhat hypocritical.