Volodymyr Volodymyrovych Klychko better known as Wladimir “Dr.Steelhammer” Klitschko, 63-3-0 delivered his 53rd KO on the way to his 17th heavyweight title defense. This particular defense was a spectacle held in a filled to capacity O2 World Area, Altona, Hamburg, Germany. It was against Kubrat Pulev 20-0-0 (11KO), from Sofia, Bulgaria, who ended up the most recent victim. The KO win pushes Klitschko a little closer to Larry Holmes (20) and Joe Louis (25).
The Champ seems invincible, just too damn big and powerful for anyone in the division. He is aptly named Dr. Steelhammer. Many years ago he was bludgeoned, walloped and clobbered by three different opponents. Instead of those kayo losses destroying his confidence, and convincing him he was in the wrong profession, they banged, pounded and forged him and his nickname into one unassailable, indomitable force.
About one year after his last kayo, his suspect chin was once again tested by Samuel Peter. In fact, Peter tested it three times, but this time Dr. Steelhammer fought off the pugilistic type of go to sleep medication, and rallied to win a UD. That seemed to be the confidence builder he needed. Pulev was simply the next biggest test in front of him.
Pulev promised to pressure Klitschko and wear him down; what nonsense, especially with the style he employs. He stands straight up, moves straight back, and unfortunately he is another fighter who has never learned how to move his head.
Almost at the outset he got dropped. In the first round, while he was watching out for Klitschko’s big right, he got nailed with a left hook. He beat the count and tried to prove he wasn’t hurt by standing on one leg and sticking out his tongue at Wlad. Stupid! He did the same thing when Joey Abell dropped him. But, in that fight he went on to stop Minnesota Ice. That wasn’t about to happen against Wlad. Instead, Pulev went down again in the first, so right off the bat he was faced with a 10-7 deficit.
Klitschko has all of the necessary weapons. Specifically, he has a great jab, followed by the steelhammer straight right. But, if someone tries to force their way in, as Pulev did, they’re met with a punishing left hook. It seemed Pulev got a big portion of each serving. It was like Wlad, not so politely, asked if he wanted a second helping, then a third! Pulev was deposited flat on his back on the canvas, watching from the inside as his right eye swelled shut from another Klitschko left hook. This one was a helluva shot. It had to be to put a behemoth like the 6′ 5″ 250lb Pulev down and out for good.
The Klitschko brothers continue to increase the magnitude of their legacy. Once the official end of the fight was declared at 2:11 of the fifth round, Vitali, Wlad’s older brother, jumped into the ring to help celebrate the latest victory. He seemed even happier than Wlad. Maybe he better understands the immensity of his younger brother’s accomplishments. It’s hard to believe any of the current challengers, say Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder, could pose much of a threat to the title defense record. Truth be known, they would be a bigger threat in a wind farm. They make swooshing sounds with the best of them.
Many have leveled criticism in the direction of both brothers, but they just keep proving all their detractors wrong. When will they be satisfied! Bert Randolph Sugar explained it best when he said a fighter’s greatness should be determined by what he did in his own era, against those who were available to fight at that time. Well, using that criteria, it certainly means the Klitschkos are destined for a hall of fame place of prominence.