Sam Peter vs Wladimir Klitschko – A Statistical Break Down

15.09.05 - By Lee Hayes: This Saturday, September 24th, 2005 is going to bring, in my opinion, the most anticipated heavyweight fight of 2005. When Wladimir Klitschko steps in to the ring to face undefeated Nigerian puncher/sensation, Samuel Peter, one thing the fans are assured of, this one is not going the distance. What round will it end in? It’s hard to say. The general consensus is early, regardless of who the pick to win is. Who will win? This may be even harder to tell because no other heavyweight fight has brought this many intangibles to the table. Is Wladimir Klitschko shot? Does he have a chin? Can Peter keep his punches short and straight enough to over compensate his lack of experience at this level? Does Peter have a chin?

I have attempted to take an unbiased look at only the statistical break down going in to the fight, and have left my personal views aside.

Here is what I have found;

Wladimir Klitschko:

Height: 6’6

Weight: 240-245lbs

Age: 29

Reach: 81 inches

Trainer: Emanuel Steward

Amateur Experience: 134-6

Accolades: Super Heavyweight Olympic Gold Medal – 1996

Notable Amateur Victories: Laurence Clay-Bey, Paea Wolfgramm

Professional Record: 44-3 (40)

Best Punch: Debatable. Probably his piston like jab, or his powerful pin straight right cross. He always punches in combination, so his “best punch” is really a compilation.

Best Professional Performances: Axel Schulz (W-TKO 8), Paea Wolfgramm (W-KO1), Monte Barrett (W-TKO7), Chris Byrd(W-UD12), Frans Botha(W-TKO8), Ray Mercer(W-TKO6) & Jameel McCline (W-TKO10)

Worst Professional Performances: Ross Puritty (L-TKO11), Corrie Sanders (L-TKO2), Lamon Brewster(L-TKO5), DaVarryl Williamson(W-TD5)

Intangibles: Wladimir Klitschko has a terrific amateur pedigree, and loads of ring experience as a professional. Most of his notable wins have come against boxers, and not punchers. He has experienced difficulties when facing pressure fighters that pack a punch. He also appears to have some serious stamina issues, as his fights with Ross Puritty and Lamon Brewster clearly showed. His chin is probably not china, however it is definitely not an anvil either. He always throws his punches in combination, and has a very high output of punches for a heavyweight, let alone a 6’6 245lbs man. His lack confidence is probably his greatest disadvantage, as the embarrassment he faced against Corrie Sanders was not controversial, or explainable, and it appears to have changed how he handles pressure situations. It doesn’t matter how many times his trainer tries to convince the press that Wlad is very confident, even his most adamant supporters can see that he is very apprehensive when under fire since the Sanders fight. It is however notable, that Wladimir has shown heart in even his worst performances, and has never actually been counted out. He always attempts to rise from any knock down.

Samuel Peter:

Height: 6’1

Weight: 245-250lbs

Age: 25

Reach: 77 inches

Trainer: Andy “Pops” Anderson

Amateur Experience: 19-1

Accolades: Nigerian Heavyweight Amateur Champion, African Zone 3 Heavyweight Champion

Notable Amateur Victories: Knocked out eventual Olympic Silver medalist, Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov of Kazahkstan, Competed in 2000 Olympics

Professional Record: 24-0(21)

Best Punch: A monster of a left hook. Peter appears to be one of those natural punchers that contain power in every blow he throws; however, his left hook is the punch that leaves opponents unconscious more than any other.

Best Professional Performances: Jeremy Williams (W-KO2), Yanqui Diaz(W-TKO5), Taurus Syke (W-KO2)

Worst Professional Performances: Note: Peter is currently undefeated, so picking out his worst performances is not so much “worst” as it is “least impressive”. Marion Wilson (W-UD4), Charles Shufford (W-UD10), Jovo Pudar (W-UD10).

Intangibles: The biggest intangible regarding Samuel Peter is how he will perform once the level of opposition has been increased. A quick look at the relative dossier’s of Wlad and Sam make it obvious that Klitschko has a massive edge in experience, and level of opposition. Also, as with any fighter, the question of Peter’s chin must remain just that, a question, until we see him hit with a top level heavyweight punch. We do not know how he will react, although all indications appear to lean towards him being able to take a punch. The question of stamina is also open, because going the distance with a fighter like Charles Shufford, is not the same as going the distance with a Vitali Klitschko, Chris Byrd, or even a John Ruiz. On the plus side, Peter’s near freakish punching power is an intangible that could out weight all others. All it takes is one punch placed properly on the chin of an opponent, and any man can be KO’d. Peter’s most devastating KO to date, was against Jeremy Williams, and although Williams is not a top 10 heavyweight any longer, it is very notable that the left hook that destroyed him, was thrown off balance and was really only an arm punch. One can only imagine what the results would have been if Samuel had been set and put all of his weight behind it.

Conclusion: By all means, Wladimir Klitschko should be able to box circles around Peter. Anybody that has ever laced up the gloves and taken the time to learn the skills and art of boxing knows that it’s not a matter of simply winging punches, and that a free swinging unskilled fighter can be made to look a fool in the ring with a seasoned boxer. The problem with picking Wladimir in this fight is that there is one more very important intangible that needs to be mentioned. Samuel Peter is a young rising heavyweight on his way to the top. Wladimir Klitschko is an accomplished amateur and professional fighter that appears to have passed his better days, and his performances in the last four years have looked more and more like a fighter that peaked early and is already in the state of decline. When this match up has happened historically, it’s the young man on his way upwards that defeats the old lion, struggling to maintain his old fire. When you combine that with Wlad’s shaky confidence, and Peter’s seek and destroy attitude, I think the choice for this fight is probably Peter to win by KO at some point in the fight. Klitschko has had his greatest success against slick boxers like Chris Byrd and Monte Barrett. He seems to have difficulty handling the pressures of a slugger that comes forward constantly. Also, his recent nervousness in the ring burns up more energy than when he was younger, and calm. Of course, it is conceivable that Wladimir catches Peter early with his right cross, from a 4 inch reach advantage, and wobbles Peter, who has never been hit as a professional with that level of punch. That could give Wlad the confidence necessary to pull out a win, but, I wouldn’t bet on it. This writer’s choice, based on the statistics is Peter by TKO in 5.

Please feel free to leave your comments here, or drop me a line at:

Article posted on 15.09.2005

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