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Fringe contenders to Wladimir Klitschko’s titles: The Ignored Contenders

2012 was quite a busy year for Wladimir Klitschko. The quality of the opposition he faced was  poor as  Jean Marc Mormeck, Tony Thompson and Mariusz Wach are hardly considered exciting match ups. Amongst the supposed mismatches the Polish warrior Mariusz Wach was the sole surprise, in a lopsided 12 round beating he showed a granite chin and seemingly unbreakable resolve.  He could be the fighter to watch for 2013.

Klitschko also lost a great friend and mentor in Emmanuel Steward. Nothing I can say could begin to capture the magic behind this man, and his effect on Wladimir,Lewis and Hearns in the past. The loss of a mentor is painful, although this was shown to be a motivator for Wladimir and also Jonathan Banks who won a surprise 2nd round KO against American prospect Seth Mitchell.

With a 3 fight schedule, there is a lot of promise for 2013. Quite a few prospects may become contenders, including David Price, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.  Here are a few of the lesser talked about contenders to the Klitschko belts.

Denis Boytsov
WBO #2 and another undefeated, quite untested fighter. Wladimir could make a habit out of exposing these fighters, before they get exposed to a much weaker fighter.  At 6 ft 1 in tall, he is quite a small heavyweight and would face serious problems against the stronger and rangier champion. His aggressive style would need to be overhauled completely to even try and last against Wladimir. I suspect he knows he isn’t ready and is looking to blast out another prospect in the hopes of getting a title shot, Tyson fury was thinking the same thing earlier this year.

Bermane Stiverne
Yet another shorter heavyweight caught up in  this post-Lewis supersized era. At 6 ft 2 in Bermane will not be able to apply the same tactics he used against Ray Austin (6 ft 6 in ) in this possible match up. With an unusually long reach for his short stature, Wladimir would only have a 1 inch advantage in the that department. Again, Stiverne has yet to face anybody close to Wladimir’s level in power,endurance or ring IQ  Stiverne has a decent amateur record possessing wins over Robert Helenius and David Price. I suspect he will end up being a low level journeyman in the future, he doesn’t have the necessary skills to challenge either Klitschko at the moment.  Could be one to watch, but honestly I can’t see Stiverne in possession of a real belt any time soon.

Bryant Jennings
IBF#5 and living in the shadow of his fellow American Deontay Wilder, Jennings could be a future surprise. With quite a poor amateur record in comparison to Wilder, he has stepped up his opposition compared to Wilder, having faced Siarhei Liakhovich. Not a great name on a resume, but it still shows some promise, even if it was against a beyond faded fighter. Superior reach to the Klitschko’s couldn’t help this guy in what would be almost certainly a slaughter as it stands. However, with a few more wins against some c-class fighters, this American could step out of Wilder’s shadow and make a lot of money in what is almost definitely going to be a hype job.

These are just three of the lesser talked about contenders (for possibly good reason) that I could see challenging a Klitschko in the next year however unfortunate the outcome may be. Who do you think is getting overlooked by the general boxing public? I’m on the lookout for this generations Ike Ibeabuchi in the fringe contender area of the Heavyweight Division. Let Me know what you think in the comments.

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