Scoop's Analysis: Wladimir Klitschko vs DaVarryl Williamson

14.09.04 - By Scoop Malinowski: This is the most important fight of Wladimir Klitschko's life. He was and still is the most talented heavyweight on the planet. However, major adversity has unexpectedly arrived on the the career of Wladimir. Could it be some sort of a test from the boxing gods when everything seemed to be going so right? If he can overcome the setbacks to Sanders and Brewster, and regain his previous form, he will be the champion. His determination and perseverance will have proved to the world that he is worthy of becoming the world's champion of the people.

DaVarryl Williamson's strength in this fight is that he knows Wladimir is most vulnerable right now. He will be very confident as anyone with a major punch would be against Wladimir at this point in time. But the problem for Williamson is that he may not be able to endure the fury Wladimir is going to unleash on him. Wladimir has devoted his life to becoming the world champion and he is undoubtedly going to lay everything on the line in this fight. Williamson, who fell so fast against Joe Mesi, will have to land first. But I can see Wladimir boxing his best and smartest on October 2nd. He has all the ingredients to become a dominant champion. It's just a matter of putting it all together. Emanuel Steward can not try to convert Wladimir into a second edition of Lennox Lewis but he must recognize their differences and let Wladimir be Wladimir. He is at his best with that tremendous jab - a jab so awesome even Roy Jones is in awe of it. Wladimir could beat Williamson - and many other heavyweights - with the jab alone (along with lateral movement). As one top trainer says, Wladimir should stop hooking off the jab - it only puts him in range and makes him susceptible to counters. Jab and move...and wait for the proper openings to unload the devastating right. That is precisely what one top American trainer told me Wladimir should do. And it certainly sounds like superb advice. Though many insiders are down on Wladimir - HBO even has dropped televising his fights - there are still a great many well-known marquee American trainers who wish they could have the opportunity to work with Wladimir. Even now.

There also is a lingering suspicion by some insiders - true or false - that Steward could be trying to make Wladimir into a new version of Lennox, considering their physical and even tempermental similarities. But that would be a mistake. There will never be another Lennox Lewis - who achieved perhaps the finest career of any heavyweight champion ever (Lewis beat every man he ever fought). Wladimir Klitschko is his own man with his own unique brand of greatness. That is why he has climbed so far to this point. That is why he won the Olympic gold medal. Wladimir and Steward must find their own original path to the top of the heavyweight mountain and not follow Lewis' footsteps.

Wladimir Klitschko will prevail on October 2nd. But the general mood/tone around his camp of overconfidence and relaxation MUST be replaced with passion, intensity, hunger and a sort of furious regain what was fumbled away in the last 18 months. There can be no casual underestimating of any opponent now. Everything is at stake now.

The element of greatness that powered Wladimir to his elite position in boxing today will shine through in this fight. Those two losses can ruin a fighter or they can make him even greater. I believe the best of Wladimir Klitschko is yet to come. Maybe it all makes sense in an ironic way - if Klitschko were to have beaten Sanders and Brewster, it would have all seemed to come too easily. To become champion, to achieve any level of greatness is never even remotely close to easy. Pain, suffering and uncertainty are all part of the journey.

Scoop Malinowski is a contributor.

Article posted on 14.09.2004

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