Boxing

Wladimir Klitschko crushes Samuel Peter in 10th round TKO!

boxingBy Lucas White: On Saturday, September 11, 2010, Wladimir Klitschko defended his IBF Heavyweight Championship for the ninth time with a 10th round knockout of Samuel Peter before 37,000 plus crowd in Frankfurt, Germany.

In the wake of Alexander Povetkin bowing out and HBO rejecting television rights, Wlad proved once again that he is the dominant force of the heavyweight division. ESPN3.com was the lone availability for American boxing fans still interested in the once coveted Heavyweight Championship.

The fight was a classic Klitschko defense except that he was facing a proven power puncher who had previously placed Wladimir on the canvas three times. That narrative would not be replayed in this rematch like the original 5 years ago.

It was difficult to give Peter even one round. The classic criticism of Wladimir for jabbing and grabbing could not be substantiated in this fight, as Samuel Peter was equally guilty of close quarter clinching.

Wladimir Klitschko would resort to his power jab followed by his thunderous right hand in the first round. Subsequent rounds would replay the strategy with Peter unwilling to engage on the inside. Finally, the 1,2,3 led to Referee Robert Byrd attempting to count for a knockdown in the 10th round, which he would abandon due to the lethargic state of the downed man to call a hault to the contest.

The cliché of one who is a victim of his own dominance is fitting for the Ring Magazine
Heavyweight Champion. Wladimir Klitschko has defended his IBF title nine times en route to picking up the WBO title and the coveted Ring Magazine Championship. Still, this record of dominance has brought him tremendous criticism, especially among the American boxing punditry and fans.

He has been criticized as robotic, without killer instinct and possessing the chin of a porcelain doll despite 8 of his title defense ending before the judges could have a say. Boxing elite in the American television market have decided they are “out of the heavyweight division.”

The question placed by this humble boxing fan is simply: “What more do you want?”

Since beating Sam Peter in their first contest, Wladimir has demolished every American Heavyweight inside the distance. His only title defense ending with a decision was against Russian Sultan Ibragimov who was whole heartedly against engaging Wladimir in any meaningful way.

Often times the argument for disregarding W. Klitschko and his dominance is based on the lackluster American Heavyweight crop. As a flag waving American myself I can only state that this excuse is utter and complete B. S. Even the hall fame trainer of champions Emanuel Stewart would have us believe that the next American Heavyweight Champion is a linebacker or a power forward looking for an easier payday. Many Americans purport that the lack of American involvement in the heavyweight divison is based on our athletes pursuing success in other genres of athletic fame.

I can only ask… Where was this argument when Larry Holmes held the title for seven and a half years? Where were these critics when Mike Tyson was knocking out everyone and their brother? Why was this argument absent when Evander Holyfield was between title reins in the nineties? Lennox Lewis demolished his fair share of the American heavyweights including the aforementioned. Was not American
Football in glory days during these eras, to say nothing of George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali?

We Americans, especially those without international interest in sport, like to blindly claim that we are the best athletes in the world. This fallacy is not simply reserved for the arena of boxing. Once upon a time we had a dream team in basketball. Yet now, the Olympic Gold Medal in basketball is not a forgone conclusion for the United States.

America’s lack of dominance in the Heavyweight Division is not something based on our athletes going elsewhere. It is a statement of athletes’ of the USA lack of dedication to the fundamentals. American athletes rely too much on pure athleticism rather than dedication to the beginnings. To further the basketball comparison, our athletes are more interested in dunking from the free throw line rather than a crisp pass or running the pick and roll.

And frankly, so are our fans. We’d rather see an off balance looping left hook from a B+ fighter knock out a C- fighter than we would see a two experts in their field fight for supremacy in their division in a “chess match” twelve round decision.

The American culture has failed the heavyweight division, not the other way around. Americans want it all now. We want the final round of a Rocky movie every fight (unabashedly, I am huge fan of the Rocky series). Still we criticize a man with 8 out of 9 title defenses ending in knockout.

Wladimir Klitschko will one day be considered among the best heavyweights to put on the gloves. His dominance will be reviewed by historians as the best of his era. The lack of American competition in the heavyweight division (an entire narrative could also be dedicated to the lack of American dominance in every other weight class) is not based on the need for new linebackers, it is based on the lack of American athletes dedicating the training to the fundamental work the sweet science requires. A lifetime must be invested in the acquisition of the Heavyweight Championship, and Wladimir has paid the price. Unfortunately, the Supersize culture of Americans has prevented us from that dedication.

Article posted on 12.09.2010



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