Doctor Wladimir Klitschko dissects Sam Peter with surgical precision

by Geoffrey Ciani - Unified IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) successfully defended his titles against Samuel Peter (34-4, 27 KOs), winning by tenth round technical knockout. When these two first met nearly five years ago, it was the last time Klitschko was involved in a tough fight. Since then, he has won ten title fights in a row, including nine defenses of his IBF belt and five for the WBO.

In round one, Peter came out awkwardly. He was successfully bobbing and moving as he launched wild shots that missed their mark. This caused Klitschko some getting used to, but he still took the round by landing the best punches, highlighted by a nice straight right. In round two, Wladimir took control and never looked back. He effectively controlled the distance with his jab. He also mixed in some crisp right hands and snappy left hooks. Whenever Peter got inside, Wlad smothered him like an octopus. The rest of the time, Wlad peppered him at will with a variety of quick combinations which kept Peter off balance.

This pattern continued over the course of the next seven plus rounds. Wladimir was even uncharacteristically throwing some nice uppercuts. Klitschko was in complete control. He rarely got hit, and when he did, he was never really hit flush. He maintained his range exceptionally well and was outstanding at controlling his optimum fighting distance. Peter fought bravely, but was simply outclassed by a much better boxer. Klitschko was on top of his game, and Peter looked like a beaten man as early as round seven. To his credit, he persevered and fought on despite being on the short end of a one-sided beating. Klitschko ultimately finished him with a great combination that included a crippling uppercut in the tenth.

The main difference between this fight and their first encounter was that Wladimir fought extremely relaxed. In their first fight Wladimir would sometimes panic when Peter attacked, but not this time. He was supremely confident in his abilities. This is a testament to the greatness of Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward. Since teaming up with Steward, Wladimir has shown tremendous improvement. He may not always be the most exciting fighter to watch, but he has exceptional skills, menacing power, and he knows how to utilize his natural assets. He has perfected his fighting style to the point where he has become nearly invincible.

Like all of the fighters trained by Steward, he has great balance and terrific fundamentals. He stays within himself, and never strays from his game plan. In addition to all of his physical tools, he is an intelligent fighter who unleashes his wizardry to near perfection. Steward has successfully fine tuned Wladimir to the point where he virtually performs like a machine. His robotic nature is sometimes a point of criticism, but nobody can question his dominance and effectiveness.

Unfortunately for Klitschko, he is head and shoulders above the rest of the weight class, both literally and figuratively. It is true that the division is perhaps at its weakest stage in its long rich history, but this is not the fault of Klitschko whose superiority cannot be questioned. There is simply nobody out there (his older brother included) who has shown they have what it takes to provide a suitable challenge. If David Haye finally steps to the plate, it may cause a lot of pre-fight buzz due to Haye’s loud-mouth trash-talking ways, but it is unlikely he would have any more success than Peter did tonight. Haye also seems reluctant to prove himself against the best. He is slated to face unheralded Audley Harrison in the next defense of his WBA title. With his recent choice of "opposition", it would not be at all surprising if he followed that up with a fight against Tyson Fury.

Wladimir continues winning in dominant fashion. Despite criticisms from his detractors, Klitschko has successfully established himself as one of the greatest heavyweights of all-time. While it is true has losses against foes that were far inferior, that is part of boxing. Overcoming setbacks is what helps define a champion's character. It is a matter of debate whether or not he deserves mention as a top ten heavyweight, but if he continues winning in the same manner he has over the last five years, it is only a matter of time before even his biggest critics will be forced to concede all that he has accomplished. The most amazing thing about Klitschko is that lesser men would have folded following devastating losses against Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. Instead, Klitschko re-established himself with hard work and mental determination. That is what great champions are made of.


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Article posted on 12.09.2010

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