Klitscko-Peter: Samuel is the one with something to prove!

19.08.05 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: Unfortunately, the Lamon Brewster fight has come and gone for Wladimir Klitschko. The day after the apocalyptic loss to Corrie Sanders via knockout, has come and it has gone, and Wladimir Klitschko failed with flying colors (at least until the FBI gets to the bottom of that one). However, is that necessarily a bad thing? What possible pressure can Wladimir feel for this upcoming fight? Yes, he should feel some hesitation and so forth, as he does for every fight, yet other than that, nothing should be bothering him.

What I mean is, he has already lost, so the pressure of maintaining himself in some aura of invincibility is no longer a hindrance. He doesn’t have to come out against Sam Peter trying to prove that he is the “SteelHammer” of old, and that is actually something beneficial to him as a fighter. Let's look at the extremes of the spectrum in regards to this fight and the results.

First of all, what if Wladimir Klitschko comes out strong and vicious and scores the exciting early KO? Will he still have his doubters, and people claiming Peter was nothing but hype to begin with? Of course he will. The people that doubt him now have complete justification for doing so, and beating Peter up violently won’t do him any good, or rather as much good as a victory like that would usually suggest. I mean let's pretend that Andrew Golota knocked out Ruiz in their fight, and then fought Brewster. Would anybody really be that shocked if the same outcome occurred against Lamon? Nothing short of taking David Tua’s bombs for 12 rounds in a war of attrition via Ike Ibeabuchi, will return him the credibility he once had, and a quick KO over Peter, just won’t do as much for him, compared with the risk.

On the other hand, if he gets knocked out in the first round, then what does that really say about him as a fighter? In all honesty, nothing much because it has already happened before. Can you call him an even less glass jawed fighter or insult him any more then has already been done? No, if Wladimir Klitschko loses by knockout, he is the same as he was before the fight, except with another loss. Good try, kid, but you just don’t have the chin for the business, and that sort of thing. Plus, he will have lost to a very dangerous puncher in Peter, which makes his case even more excusable. He took the tough fight, he got busted up, and that is that. Again, let's remember Andrew Golota. Most of us picked Golota by Knockout, but was anybody really choking on their pretzels when they saw Golota go down? Same thing here, if Wladimir Klitschko loses, since he has already been down on the canvas before, it won’t likely matter.

Now, why am I mentioning the obvious here? It's really a matter of pointing out that Wladimir Klitschko does not benefit at all from fighting Peter’s fight. He doesn’t benefit at all from going toe to toe, and blow for blow, and that is Peter’s biggest disadvantage coming into this fight.

Samuel Peter must, and I emphasize that word 'must,' land hard in order to win. He is short, does not possess tremendous inside fighting skills, like Mike Tyson early in his career, and from what I have seen, he does not possess the late round Tua knockout power. His only chance in this bout, it seems, is to make Wladimir slug early and often, when Peter has the most strength. Not only from a technical standpoint, but in the sense that, the Nigerian has been the one doing most, if not all of the trash talking. The so called "Savior of the Division," the next Mike Tyson, and all that good stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it's entertaining at times, but unless Peter is just goofing around, which seems unlikely, this kid is putting an awful lot of pressure on himself come fight night.

Not only that, but I sort of get the feeling that HBO is leaning towards Peter, come fight night, in my opinion. When this fight was first presented on their site, I noticed that they were billing it as “Cotto and Peter put their unbeaten records on the line against the veterans Klitschko and Branco,” as opposed to “Klitschko faces the hard hitting Samuel Peter.” Although this is all just opinion, Peter will be put at center stage for this fight, and that, in my opinion, will not do him one bit of good.

There are guys like Ricky Hatton, who can perform under pressure, and there are guys like Vivian Harris who cannot, it seems. It's completely possible that the majority is wrong and Peter does do what he said he would, but in all honesty, that will not be a shock, and that is why Peter is at a disadvantage, like I have said.

One thing that is abundantly clear to me, however, is the following: Peter has stated that he has not shown his full potential yet. For his sake, I hope he is right. From I have seen in his fights with Jeremy Williams, and the Brazillian Da Silva, the man is very hittable. Da Silva, who by no fault of his own, is really a beer keg with arms, was making it competitive for a round and a half, the same goes for Williams. When Peter finally bruted Da Silva into a corner, none of his punches, except the one to the back of Da Silva’s, head actually landed, and yet the ref stopped the fight. Peter was not doing anything remotely tactical in that bout; It was all a matter of him being the bigger, stronger guy. Now, perhaps knowing that he didn’t choose to fight a more tactical fight, but Wladimir Klitschko is no Jose Arimatea Da Silva. He is in shape, taller, and stronger. Peter’s ability to fight a more tactical, and dare I say, “professional” (i.e. this is not a barroom brawl) will be tested. Unless Klitschko folds like cheap laundry, Peter better show a whole hell of a lot more than he has done, because I feel he is at that much of a disadvantage, and like I previously mentioned, not only from a textbook “on paper” look at the fighters, but externally and mentally.

The chances of younger Klitschko folding seem remote, but again, they appeared remote going into his fights against Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, as well, so that is something I don’t really care to factor into the equation, not only because I will be predicting a win for the Ukrainian, but because it's simply not as much fun, as a more serious analysis. If the best versions of both guys show up to this fight, Wladimir Klitschko will win, in my opinion. If Peter wins, in that scenario then he really is an underrated gem in the heavyweight division, but like I said, I have my doubts.

Consequently, this doesn’t really need to be said, but I will say it, if this fight does come off, another big question mark these days, wow, should fans ever be greatful. Nobody expected this one, and it’s a pleasant surprise to see that boxers can still exceed our expectations and go at it. Big thanks to both fighters, and their promotional teams for making this possible.

Final Word: Klitscko wins, but I have yet to see how well Peter takes an elite punch to predict how.

Article posted on 19.08.2005

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