Boxing


Klitschko-Brewster: Lamonís best shot and the problem with Wladimir!

06.07.07 - By Izyaslav ďSlavaĒ Koza: Tommorow night, IBF heavyweight titleholder Wladimir Klitschko will attempt to avenge his last suffered defeat as he steps into the boxing ring against his most recent conqueror Lamon Brewster. While most fans rightfully favor Klitschko in the bout, most donít really understand the purpose or reason why they do so..

More or less, the sheer dominance with which Wlad has taken down his foes has been no less then breathtaking, but at the same time misleading. Klitschko has completely abandoned the use of any sort of infighting for the purpose of focusing exclusively on holding, wrestling, and hugging his generally less in shape opponents to a false sense of distraction before unleashing a monster straight right show stopper.

While the strategy has been effective 95% of the time, there were instances, mainly against Samuel Peter, and Calvin Brock, where Klitschko was simply baffled by guys who are not keen on letting him execute strategy a: in punching at a distance, and b: holding his way out of a Colonel Sanders situation. While both Brock and Peter ultimately succumbed to their lack of top-level conditioning, and ultimately lost those bouts, they have shown where Wladimir is vulnerable, i.e. that ďphone booth distance.Ē

That vulnerability is becoming smaller in the sense that Klitschko has gotten used to being reflexive with his holding, but is also far from none existent. The big issue for Brewster is that he is just not a good enough fighter to execute a game-plan that would force Wladimir to either risk fighting on the inside or passively accept a points beating by holding all fight long looking to score. Still, if by some miracle Brewster has prepared for executing this type of fight strategy he might have a slight shot at taking this fight. At the same time, the pre-Sanders, Klitschko used to be a decent infighter, beating the likes of Derrick Jefferson with perfectly executed short inside shots which put Jefferson out.

It could also be possible that Wladimir somehow understands his current weakness and has ironed the details in the gym and returned even that part of his game into his arsenal.

Personally, from the fights of his that I have seen post-Sanders, I donít believe he has or will change this enough, but theoretically it is possible.

Still, since Brewster lacks conditioning and did have his eye busted by the Lyakhovich jab, which is less quality then the one Wladimir owns, I think it more likely he lands something so big it dwarfs Nikolai Valuev in symbolic stature then wins based on technique and style. At that, if Wlad is still standing after a monster shot, he should fall into a clinch, and tie a tiring Brewster down, not allowing Lamon any opportunity to capitalize on that power.

The likely result of the fight is a clinch, and punch marathon with a TKO stoppage win for Klitschko. Brewster need not go down or be killed as he claims for the ref to stop a fight where one man is getting beat down. I do not believe this fight will push Klitschko but I do think there are fighters out there, namely those who are keen on unifying the belts, in Sultan Ibragimov, and Ruslan Chagaev, who can push Wladimir hard at the elevator close distance. Whether that will be enough for them to win the fight remains to be seen, but I see that as the best strategy if a guy does not have infinitely better handspeed (Chagaevís and Ibragimovís is comparable but relatively since they are shorter it gives Wlad an advantage in this department) then Dr. Steelhammer.

At the same time this is boxing and I have picked against Lamon in the Golota fight only to be proven wrong (although in my defense, I did point to the possibility of a Golota breakdown in that one as well), so who knows if Wladís chin will be checked by a Brewster left hook? There is only one way to find out and that is to tune in and watch tommorow night at 5 pm on HBO.

Article posted on 07.07.2007



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