Sam Peter vs Vitali Klitschko

Vitali klitschko vs Samuel PeterBy Ted Sares - Yes, Vitali Wladimirovich Klitschko, 35-2 has a remarkable KO percentage of 91.89 and yes, he is bigger than the very big Sam Peter, 30-1, but this is all about inactivity and Dr. Ironfists will walk into the ring on October 11 in Berlin, Germany with plenty of inactivity.

Klitschko’s last fight was against an overweight Danny Williams in December, 2004. Prior to that, he looked formidable in stopping brave Corrie Sanders and an out-of shape and grossly fat Kirk Johnson. These fights were, of course, after he lost to Lennox Lewis in 2003.

However, against Larry Donald (2002), Vaughn Bean (2002) and Ross Puritty (2001), he was taken into the late rounds (10, 11 and 11) before he prevailed by stoppage. Donald, Bean and Puritty were not exactly top tier opponents.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Nightmare has been in the ring fifteen times since January 22, 2004 going 14-1 with 106 rounds under his ample belt. On March 3, 2008, he stopped the very stoppable Oleg Maskaev in Cancun.. After an interesting six rounds in which Samuel demonstrated focus and resolve, things exploded in the sixth and Peter ended matters decisively with a number of concussive shots to The Big O’s head driving him into a corner and forcing a halt to matters at the 2.56 mark.

Previously he beat Jameel McCline in a less than impressive manner, but went 24 rounds with James Toney. The plain fact is, Sam Peter has been an active fighter and has fought a better level of opposition.

While many comment on how large Peter is, he has never had a stamina issue and actually fought James Toney at 257 pounds. More tellingly, he went up against McCline at 250 and still came back in the late rounds and pulled out a fight that he almost lost by stoppage. In so doing, he showed great heart and courage, managing to throw punches with bad intention right up to the bell. He also showed some ring canniness, something for which he is seldom given credit.

Ring Rust

I can’t define it precisely but I know it when I see it. Sugar Ray Leonard was a poster child for it when he fought Hector Camacho back in the day. Razor Ruddock had it when he fought Greg page in 1992. Richie Woodhall had it when he fought tough German Marcus Beyer in 1999. Donny LaLonde had it when he came back against Virgil Hill. I recognized it in those fight and in many others. Greg Haugen demonstrated it when he beat one Jesus Mayorga in 1997 and God knows Ray Mancini had it when Haugen savaged him in 1992. What I saw in these fights was a lack of stamina, diminished reflexes, an inability to put punches together, a propensity to clinch, and an inability to fight in the center of the ring.

On the flip side, Henry Maske certainly did not have it when he beat Virgil Hill last year, a remarkable feat indeed. And Roy Jones showed in his win against Prince Badi Ajamu that not everyone suffers from this thing called “ring rust.” Perhaps the best example was when Carlos Palomino came back after an 18 year absence and won five fights in a row by stoppage including a remarkable one round KO over bomber Rene Arredondo. There are many other examples.


When I ponder the above and put the facts and numbers together, the inescapable conclusion, albeit an unpopular one is that an active power puncher/boxer should l prevail over an inactive power puncher. I see a mid to late round stoppage as the injury prone Dr. Ironfists gets discouraged by his inability to take out the large Nigerian. Danny Williams was knocked down four times by Vitali before that fight was stopped, but that was then and this is now. An inactive Klitschko will not be able to do that to the more active and deceptively skilled Samuel Peter.

In the end, I see this fight shaping up as a Ukrainian nightmare for a fighter who last fought in 2004.

Article posted on 02.10.2008

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