By James Slater: Eastside Boxing: Do you feel you are the man to end the reign of the Klitschkos?
Mariusz Wach, unbeaten Polish heavyweight contender: “I feel I am, and I’m looking to facing them in the future. They are both great champions, but I have a dream to achieve and a family to take care of. I also have the support of my Polish people and their support makes me stronger. I have the size and strength, but also the heart and skills to be the one to beat them. I’m waiting for my opportunity, and when it comes, I’ll be ready!”
This week, on Kyiv Post.com, it was reported how the Polish media in general has been buzzing over the fact that unbeaten, 6’7” Mariusz Wach had come to a deal with heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko, with a fight all but done for Hamburg, Germany in either November or December. Upon hearing this news, some fans groaned about 32-year-old Wach’s credentials. But, as is the case with big brother and reigning WBC champ Vitali, Wladimir has pretty much ran out of challengers to defend against. Simply put: the Klitschkos have cleaned out their weight class.
To me, Wach, 27-0(15) is a reasonably interesting challenger (certainly no worse than Vitali’s next foe, Manuel Charr). Wladimir has seen off experienced older guys (Tony Thompson), slick smaller men (Eddie Chambers, David Haye) and he has seen off big punchers (Sam Peter) – but it’s been quite some time since “Dr. Steel Hammer” faced a guy who is A: young and unbeaten and B: taller and heavier than he is. And, though he is lacking in experience and is somewhat crude in his approach, Wach, known as “The Viking,” can punch some.
Those critics that are moaning about Wladimir giving some new blood a shot should ask themselves this: who else should the 36-year-old Ring Magazine, IBF, WBA, WBO ruler face next? Wladimir has already said he will not entertain David Haye again, and any other contender you care to mention is either not yet ready for the mighty task or is busy with some other bout. Nobody is screaming for a Klitschko-Wach fight, but at the same time the fight is no dud and there could be fireworks.
When was the last time a young, hungry heavyweight came right off the blocks and went after Wladimir? I think we may see an approach like this from Wach at the end of the year. Sure, the Polish hero is not all that fast and he could well walk onto something and be made to pay as he attacks, but I’d like to see Wladimir put under some fierce pressure; if only for a round or two. I think Wach will go for it and give his all when he gets his big chance.
Wladimir will be a huge favourite to defeat Wach, and rightly so, but I don’t think the heavyweight champion’s next fight will be a dull affair. Look for Wach to let his ponderous hands go, maybe even landing some leather on Wlad’s chin, before being put in his place and stopped. Or is it possible the 250-pounder from Krakow gets lucky and lands the punch of his life?