By Mark Chekhanovskiy
Munich Germany, March 24 - With a mature performance well beyond his 25 years, Vladimir Klitschko out brawled a brawler and showed the world that he is boxing's newest star in the heavyweight division.
In what was supposed to be Vladimir Klitschko's toughest opponent to date, turned out to be one of his easiest in this two round slaughter. Vladimir Klitschko sent Jefferson down three times Saturday and retained his WBO championship. Jefferson's record fell to 24-3-1 with 20 knockouts, and was yet again, embarassed in front of a nation wide audience.
Genuine animosity had generated between the two fighters in the two weeks leading up to this fight, creating a huge amount of public interest in Germany. It was clear, that for the younger Klitschko brother, this fight was personal and he wanted to exact pain and suffering onto Jefferson.
As Vlad entered the ring to singing by an unusual entertainer who goes by the name of "Amadeus", the crowd was buzzed with energy and excitement. Vlad appeared nervous as he walked into the ring, and a little irritated as he glanced now and then at the flamboyant singer who resembled George Michael in appearance and Liberace in mannerisms.
Jefferson, coming off two losses in his last three fights, and hoping for a change of luck. At 6'6"" and weighing 260 pounds, Jefferson looked powerful and dangerous, as he eyed Vlad from across the ring.
Although only an inch taller, Vlad towered over Jefferson as they stood facing each other while receiving instructions by the referee Genaro Hernandez. Vlad looked cold and calculated as he stared down at Jefferson in a menacing manner
.At opening bell, both fighters circled each other. Jefferson, perhaps trying to conserve his strength or protect his weak chin, didn't immediately pounce as is customary for him.
But at a half minute into the 1st, Klitschko did not play it safe. He crashed a terrific left hand hook into the face of Jefferson, sending him to the deck. Jefferson immediately got up, but was visibly shook by the powerful punch and was sporting a swollen left eye. Now with Jefferson's left eye quickly closing, he fought on desperately, throwing wild punches. Vlad quickly pursued his injured foe and hammered away with strong jabs that snapped Jefferson's head back. Somehow Jefferson was able to make it out of the ring without going down again.
At the start of the 2nd round, Jefferson attacked with some power laden blows, but Klitschko made Jefferson miss all of them badly. Finally, one minute into the round, Klitschko landed a thunderous right hand bomb that splattered Jefferson to the canvas. Jefferson got up at the count of 5 but was definitely hurt, and in full retreat trying to recover. Klitschko poured on the pressure and ended it with a devastating left hook that caused Jefferson to jolt forward violently before sending him to the canvas. Jefferson made it up but referee Genaro Hernandez waived off the fight at 2:50 of the 2nd.
Klitschko simply had too much fire power for Jefferson and it was a methodical beating that he inflicted on the beaten fighter. Afterwards, Jefferson resembled a piece of sculpture that had been blasted to pieces.
Vladimir, weighing 247 for this bout,
earned $1 million for the fight. Jefferson, weighing
260, earned $400,000. Vladimir later said "I
want to be the best fighter in the world one day,
and I think I took steps today. I'm a peoples champion,"
said Jefferson afterwards, as if he were trying to
convince himself of this fact. The real truth is that
Jefferson's career is in tatters, and he has run out
of chances with HBO after losing 3 out of his last
4 fights. Perhaps now, his management should take
a go slow approach with him so he can learn the skills
of the trade. Unfortunately, at age 33, Jefferson
has little time left for a new start. For Klitschko,
the sky's the limit. He now is in the drivers seat,
and can pick and choose whether he would like to fight
Lewis this year, or wait until early next year for
this match up. The smart thing, would be for Vladimir
to fight twice more against taller fighters (Mount
Whitaker and Michael Grant) before taking on Lewis.
There's no rush, as Vladimir is still only 25, and
there will be plenty of time later for big pay days
once he becomes the champion of the world. Klitschko,
now 36-1 with 33 knockouts said :"I want Lewis
or Tyson." But after this fight, I doubt either
of those two want any part of him. Although, wanting
to fight for the crown, doesn't mean that the fight
should be made quite yet. At this point, Klitschko
still isn't widely known in America, and the fight
with Lewis would be a difficult to get the public
excited about this fight. Two more fights on HBO,
and I think the American people would eat this fight
Other results March 24:
Oleksander Zubrykhin (Ukraine) W TKO 1 vs L. Beres
Sergiy Dotsenko (Ukraine) W TKO 1 vs Patrick Puskas
Andrey Kotelnik (Ukraine) W4 vs Joszef Lakatos (Hungary)