Vitali Stops Gomez in 9th!

gomezBy Jim Slattengren: In one of the worse fights I've ever seen in my life, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (37-2, 36 KOs) stopped challenger Juan Carlos Gomez (44-2, 35 KOs) in the 9th round tonight in Stuttgart, Germany. Vitali, 37, knocked Gomez down twice in the fight, once in the 7th and another time in the 9th. Shortly after the second knock down, Vitali caught Gomez against the ropes and hammered him with two left hooks to the head that caused Gomez to bend over as if he wanted to quit. The referee Daniel van de Wiele then stepped in and halted the fight at 1:49 of the round.

Vitali looked exhausted by the 2nd round, his mouth wide open and gasping for breath. He clinched often throughout the fight and banged heads with Gomez repeatedly and was warned by the referee. Gomez was cut over his eye from one of the clash of heads in the 5th, whereas Vitali was cut on his scalp. The action was sloppy for the most part, with Vitali jabbing, pawing, backing up and clinching frequently. Gomez looked even worse, pushing his right hand out in front of him to try and block shots but not throwing anything at all. He looked slow and lethargic. Actually, both fighters looked old and tired out there tonight..

Gomez tried to step it up in the 6th round, but was only able to land a small handful of left hands. Vitali continued mostly jabbing, clinching, looking tired and gasping for breath. He had no power on his shots and looked bothered by Gomez's constant pressure. Vitali looked terrible backing up, which is what he had to much of the time as Gomez constantly pressed the action.

In the 7th, Vitali seemed to get enough air to throw a good right hook that hurt Gomez. Vitali then fired off another right hook that put Gomez down. After the knockdown, Vitali went all out trying for the knockout, rushing forward and throwing wild shots in every direction and missing almost all of them. He did connect with one good right hand staggered Gomez again, but he was unable to finish the job. By the end of the round, Vitali looked like a wet noodle, flopping around and missing everything.

Vitali appeared exhausted in the 8th, and did next to nothing for the entire round except scratch at the air with his jab. Gomez showed a lot of courage in the round because his right eye was nearly closed and he continued pressing the action against the much bigger Vitali. In the last 30 seconds of the round, Vitali finally came alive and landed some nice combinations and one hard right hand that caused Gomez to bend forward at the waist as if he was out on his feet. However, it looked like another one of Gomez's tricks, because he came alive suddenly and started fighting as the round ended.

In the 9th round, Vitali crashed his head into Gomez yet again, causing Gomez to back away in pain. Referee Daniel van de Wiele, perhaps tired of all Vitali's head butts, stepped in and deducted a point from Vitali for the clash of heads. As soon as the action resumed, Vitali, now looking a little angry, blasted Gomez with two consecutive right hands, knocking him to the canvas. After Gomez got to his feet, Vitali went right hand crazy, following him around and hitting him with one right after another without any response from Gomez.

Vitali finally loaded up with one especially hard right hand that hurt Gomez badly, causing him to flee to the ropes. Vitali slowly trotted after him and landed a big left hook that connected to the head of Gomez, pitching forward as if he was looking for something on the canvas. With Gomez now nearly defenseless, Vitali landed a left uppercut that snapped Gomez's head. At that point, referee Daniel van de Wiele mercifully stepped in and stopped the action at 1:49 of the round.

After seeing this fight, I have to say that British heavyweight contender David Haye has nothing to fear from Vitali. That's a fight I see Haye winning every time with his speed and power.

Article posted on 21.03.2009

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