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Johnathon Banks to replace Steward for Wladimir’s fight with Wach

Johnathon Banks Wladimir KlitschkoBy Jason Kim: IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 50 KOs) will have fellow team member and sparring partner Johnthon Banks working his corner to replace trainer Emanuel Steward for Wladimir’s November 10th fight against Mariusz Wach (27-0, 15 KO’s) at the O2 World Arena, Altona, in Hamburg, Germany. Steward is out for now after having had stomach surgery recently, and he won’t be available to work Wladimir’s corner just yet.

Wladimir’s manager Bernd Boente told AFP “Wladimir is very impressed by Johnathon. He says ‘Banks can read a fight and know what tactics should be applied. He’ll be a very good coach one day.”

Boente thinks the 68-year-old Steward could be back working with Wladimir next year sometime if everything goes right with his healing from surgery.

It’s perhaps not crucial that Wladimir will be without Steward’s expertise for the Wach fight because it’s expected to be one of Wladimir’s easier fights. However, Wladimir could end up facing the likes of Kubrat Pulev or even Tyson Fury next year depending on how things go with those fighters. Pulev is the more likely fighter to face Wladimir if he can earn the IBF mandatory sport by beating the winner of the Tomasz Adamek vs. Steve Cunningham fight.

Steward has been with Wladimir since his loss to Lamon Brewster in 2004. Under Steward’s guidance, Wladimir has gone 16-1 during the last 8 years. There’s no end in sight for Wladimir, because he’s learned enough from Steward to make himself almost unbeatable. Steward has really helped his game immensely just as Steward helped the likes of Lennox Lewis and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns among many others.

The 6’7″ Wach is going to be an interesting test for Wladimir because of his huge size and power. Banks is going to have to give Wladimir good advice to steer him through this fight without getting clipped by one of Wach’s big right hand shots, because the Polish fighter has made it clear that he’s coming into this fight looking for a knockout.

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