24.10.06 - By Tim Neilson: On November 11th, Wladimir Klitschko (46-3, 41 KO's) will defend his IBF heavyweight title against challenger Calvin Brock (29-0, 22 KO's) at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. Up to this point, this fight is failing to generate much excitement in the boxing community other than to diehard Klitschko boxing fans, most of which could care less whether Wladimir, 30, ever fights an interesting opponent. In the case of Brock, a former not too successful 2000 Olympic boxer that goes by the nickname "The Boxing banker," it would appear that he is one of the less appealing opponents for Wladimir.
Article posted on 24.10.2006
The problem with Brock, it seems, is that although he is undefeated, most of those wins have come against journeyman fighters, none of which are easily recognizable to most fans.
Clearly, Brock, 31, is a far less experienced boxer than Wladimir Klitschko, despite being a year older than the Ukrainian boxer. If that wasn't enough, Brock has not looked good against his best opponents, names such as Jameel McCline, Timur Ibragimov, David Bostice and Zuri Lawrence. In fact, Brock had to rally to defeat McCline, who knocked him down in the early going. Against Zuri Lawrence, Brock was essentially fought to a standstill by the journey, that is, until the 6th round, when Brock landed a powerful left hook that knocked Lawrence out.
Beyond that, Brock is a somewhat undersized heavyweight, at 6'2" 224 lbs, which will likely cause him problems against the much taller and longer armed, 6'7" 244 lb, Wladimir Klitschko. Typically, the shorter heavyweights have to have something going for them, such as, incredible power, for them to be successful against the bigger heavyweights. However, Brock has rather average power, despite the 22 ko's on his record. His main weapon, a decent left hook, is only effective at close range, and for some strange reason, he rarely throws it. As for his right hand power, he basically has none.
For the most part, Brock relies on an excellent jab, one that he uses to score points and to keep his opponents away from his soft midsection, which always contains a generous coat of fat. On first glance, my immediate opinion is, he needs to run much more and stick to a leaner diet. However, on second thought, if he did lose his midsection, he wouldn't be a heavyweight. That, unfortunately, is the biggest problem for Brock. In effect, he's really a cruiserweight, with an extra 25 pounds of fat on his frame. For that, I respect what he's trying to accomplish, given his limited size. All the same, though, I don't like his chances against a top heavyweight, especially against someone as formidable as Wladimir Klitschko, who will likely pound him into submission in a lightening-like fashion.
Alas, out all the top 10 heavyweights for Wladimir to have chosen to face, I consider Brock to be the at the bottom rung of the latter, with fighters such as Samuel Peter, Hasim Rahman, Oleg Maskaev, Nikolay Valuev, James Toney, Sergei Liakhovich, Lamon Brewster, and Chris Byrd, all being well above him. If only Brock had more speed, power and size, he would be a respectable matchup for Wladimir. However, in this case, Brock falls for short in all of those categories, making him an almost boring match-up for Wladimir. Sorry, but Wladimir gets nothing by beating Brock, other than another win and a little more money in the bank. Frankly, I consider this a 'stay busy' type of fight for Wladimir, more of a sparring fight, just so that Wladimir doesn't lose his edge before his next bout. Look for the fight to last several rounds, with Brock mainly trying to stay away from Wladimir's powerful left hook and straight right hand. It won't take long, though, before Wladimir catches up to the slow moving Brock, probably as early as the 5th round.
Prediction: Wladimir by 5th round KO.
Valuev has been mentioned as a future opponent by Wladimir, depending on whether or not he defeats Brock. However, this is more of a pipe dream, I'm afraid, for Valuev won't likely be matched this tough until he gets a few more wins under his belt. As it is now, it's too soon to throw the 7-foot Valuev in against Wladimir, considering that there is still a few more fights that can be milked out of Nikolay before sending him to what will likely be a slaughter.