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Being tall won’t be enough for Wach

Wladimir Klitschko(Picture credit: Michael Freitag) By John F. McKenna (McJack): Heavyweight contender Mariusz Wach (27-0, 15 KO’s) is being billed by some as the fighter to end the title reign of WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO and Ring Magazine heavyweight titlist Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 51 KO’s). Wach and “Dr. Steelhammer will clash on November 10 at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

Wach enthusiasts are quick to point out that “The Viking” as his fans call him, will be the first fighter who is not dwarfed by Wladimir’s sheer size.

Mariusz stands 6’7 ½” and tips the beam at roughly 250 pounds. There is no question that Wach is huge, powerful and has KO power. His knockout over journeyman Kevin McBride (35-10-1) in four rounds in July 2011 was noted by boxing observers for its brutality. In that fight Wach landed his trademark right hand and the 296 pound McBride went crashing to the floor. McBride whose only claim to fame was his stoppage of a badly faded Mike Tyson in 2005, had to be carried from the ring on a stretcher.

Wach and his supporters are buoyed by the fact that the ring giant has scored seven straight KO victories and are hopeful that he will add Wladimir to that list. Klitschko’s detractors, of which there are many, gleefully point out that Wlad’s chin is suspect and that he has already suffered three KO losses in his career.

Of course it is a good thing to have confidence as a fighter, particularly when you are embarking on the quest to defeat a heavyweight champion who has dominated the division for the last several years.

It should be pointed out however that “Dr. Steelhammer” has improved dramatically since he was stopped by the likes of Corrie Sanders, Ross Purity and Lamont Brewster.
Wladimir, pushed by his brother, did a self assessment after he suffered his 3rd KO loss. Vitali even suggested that it may be time for Wladimir to hang up the gloves and try something else.

It was at that point that Wladimir took on arguably the best trainer in boxing, Emanuel Steward. Manny worked on the areas he thought Wlad needed to improve on while helping him to refine his god given talent. The lack of proper conditioning was one of the first aspects of Klitschko’s game that Steward went to work on. Manny believed that Wladimir’s chin was not the only culprit in his KO losses. Steward felt that Klitschko’s lack of conditioning was one of the primary reasons that he was KO’d three times.

Steward turned Klitschko around and played a big part in making him the fighter he is today. For Wach to be competitive with Wladimir he needs to improve in every aspect of his game. Unfortunately “The Viking” has only competed against 2nd and 3rd tier opposition. Wach’s boxing skills and ring generalship are nowhere near that of Klitschko’s.

Wladimir will have the opportunity to demonstrate to boxing fans that it is not just his size which makes him the fighter he is. More than likely Klitschko will pick his larger opponent apart in the early rounds and after softening him up go for the KO.

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