Sanders vs. Wladimir II?

07.12.04 - By Russ Taylor: One of the great qualities of Lennox Lewis was his sheer perseverance. Twice, he was stunningly knocked out by Oliver McCall & Hasim Rahman, and twice he avenged those defeats with some style. Perhaps another Heavyweight who needs to ‘lay the ghost’ is a certain Wladimir Klitschko. Up until a certain night in Hannover, the 6.7” giant looked the heir apparent to Lewis’crown.

But every ‘great’ must have his foe, and that August night last year one Corrie Sanders left Wladmir’s reputation in tatters. It would take a strong minded or even ignorant observer to claim that defeat still does not hang heavy on the Ukrainian to this day.

Up until that ill-fated night, Wladmir Klitschko felt unbeatable. The confidence and sheer authority he oozed when he outclassed Jameel McCline was there for all to see.

This man was the future… or so it would seem.

Sanders an awkward Southpaw who nicknamed himself ‘The Sniper’ after blasting away Wladimir, set himself up with a title clash with Vitali after his sensational victory but found his older brother a step too far.

Vitali avenged his little brother’s untimely demise but the question was, and still is to this day, has Wladimir?

As Sanders departed the Staples Center after providing stubborn resistance that bordered on the heroic in that fight, he soon announced he was hanging up his gloves and heading for the Green to further his prospering golf career.

That was until last month when the South African made a dramatic U-turn and decided he hadn’t washed his hands with the fight game.

Sanders first request? You guessed it.

A rematch with Wladimir, the fight that had turned both fighters careers so dramatically.

Just to add intrigue and spice, Sanders promptly signed up with Universum Box Promotions, the same company that the Klitschko’s left and the same Universum that the pair are involved in a bitter legal battle with.

The burning question is, would Wladimir risk it all to the lay the Sanders ghost. And would a victory bring back the Wladimir of old?

Could a success of Sanders finally bury those endless replays of him being defencelessly being battered around the ring on that night in Germany?

Sanders firmly believes that he has Wlad’s number and that the Ukrainian is incapable of taking a taste of his own medicine.

Corrie’s career thrives off Wladimir and Sanders knows that if he were to inflict a second defeat on the Ukrainian, then this would not just put him back in the spotlight again, but also possibly be the final nail in Wladimir’s fragile plan for a Klitschko dominated Heavyweight division.

Should the fight actually materialise then the critics would argue, as they usually do when it comes to the Klitschko’s that Wlad would prove little in defeating Sanders. The critics would therefore be missing the biggest point, what would a potential win mean to Wladimir himself.

Sanders would have nothing to live off except a reputation of being a journeyman with a big heart and a dangerous style should he lose a rematch.

And Wladimir could start looking forward instead of watching the likes of stable mates Taras Bidnenko and Alexander Dimitrenko creeping up on him in the rankings.

Would this potentially enthralling match up come to fruition?

I’d very much doubt it, but in a division devoid of world class excitement, a match up between the pair, backed with the previous history could indeed make for an intriguing battle.

The question being could Wladimir actually adjust to Sanders style and fight off the demons that still chase him from that March night in 2003? Would Emmanuel Steward risk it? Would the newly formed K2 Promotions risk it?

Who knows a sensational revenge could relight Wladimir’s doubtless but stifled potential.

The door is open for Wladimir And a rematch would be fascinating for boxing fans and especially those who love or hate Wladimir.

I know of a certain South African who would only be too happy to accept a rematch…

Article posted on 06.12.2004

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