Klitschko stops McCline in one-sided affair!
By Murali Para
10.12 - Saturday night's heavyweight clash between Wladimir Klitschko and Jameel McCline was a fight between two top contenders in the division and generated much anticipation in terms of the questions it would inevitably answer. Jameel "Big Time" McCline was undefeated since 1996 and had posted good decision victories over Lance "Goofi" Whitaker and Shannon Briggs, as well as a one-round KO of Michael Grant. And Wladimir "Steelhammer" Klitschko was rated by many as the best heavyweight in the world after Lennox Lewis, and the man most likely to assume control of the division after the latter's pending retirement. His impressive wins over Chris Byrd - to win the WBO strap - and tough Ray Mercer made sure he was the bookies' favourite, but many opinion polls gave him only a 60-40 advantage over McCline. The clash was very much expected to produce fireworks and possibly to emerge as a late contender for fight of the year. In reality though, McCline brought virtually nothing to the table and was totally dominated by the giant Ukrainian.
As the two big men met in the centre of the ring in round 1, McCline's facial expression was one of discomfort and unease, while Klitschko looked serene and composed. This very much set the tone for the pattern of the fight. It would have to be said that the opening 5 rounds of the fight were not particularly action-packed. This is partly because McCline was rarely willing to close down the distance between himself and Klitschko, preferring to work his jab from afar without really connecting. Also, Klitschko showed McCline a great deal of respect and, while he did connect well at times with multiple jabs, left hooks and solid combinations, his approach was predominantly a cautious one. He did however establish a rhythm that his opponent was unable to break. Even when McCline did manage to move in close and land a few right hands in the 4th, the WBO champion responded almost at once with left-right-left combination. Klitschko was winning every round.
As a result of Klitschko's loss to Ross Puritty in 1998 - in which he ran out of steam in the latter rounds - many believed that McCline, with his decision wins over Whitaker and Briggs, might have more stamina in the second half of the fight. This did not prove to be the case at all. Klitschko - who weighed in at a light 240 pounds against McCline's 263 - came on strong with more power punches from rounds 6 to 10, while the challenger struggled to make any real impression on the ebb and flow of the action. The crowd became somewhat restless in the 7th round as there was a definite lull - Klitschko was still too reluctant to take his work to the next level and McCline, though he was having his best round, connected only very sporadically. In the 10th round though, the champion landed some of his trademark left hooks and an overhand right to the top of McCline's head. It was clear that McCline was in trouble and this time Klitschko was decisive - he followed up with a left-right combination that sent the challenger tumbling to the canvas. A distressed McCline rose at the count of 9, but his corner pulled him out before the 11th round to give Klitschko his 37th career win by stoppage.
Klitschko proved himself by far the superior boxer and on my card did not lose a single round. The judges scored the fight 98-91, 99-90 and 99-90 - all for Klitschko - at the time of the stoppage. Klitschko improved to 40-1 (37) while the outclassed McCline fell to 28-3-3 (16). The punch statistics only served to underline Klitschko's dominant performance over the no.1 challenger for his title: he landed 39% of his jabs - against only 16% for McCline - and an impressive 49% of his power punches. The lopsided fight was certainly a disappointment in terms of its lack of competitive action. But it did show us that Wladimir Klitschko is a threat to anyone in the heavyweight division - Lennox Lewis included - and those who thought he was over-hyped will now have to admit that if either fighter was over-hyped, then it was McCline. This is not to say that Klitschko's performance was flawless - he was often over-cautious and sometimes he looked very open to shots - but he did all that was asked of him and can continue his climb to the top of the tree with confidence.
Klitschko-McCline: What Does Wladimir Klitschko´s Win Mean?
By Cliff Clark
09.12- The knock on Wladimir Klitschko, up until now, has been that he had never faced a top-ranking heavyweight except for the smallish light hitting Chris Byrd. Some boxing pundits saw the highly ranked, 66, 263 pound Jameel McCline as a fighter that might expose Klitschko as just another in a long line of horizontal European heavyweights. The huge McCline has beaten such former title challengers as Shannon Briggs and Michael Grant, and also holds a win over the highly ranked (at the time they fought) Lance Whitaker. However, the odds makers made Wladimir a big betting favorite, and not too surprisingly the Klitschko-McCline fight was less than competitive. Klitschko may not have silenced all his critics, but he did prove that hes the genuine article. With a ring record of 41-1 including 37 knockouts, Vlad is now ready to face any heavyweight in the world, and is the logical number one contender to Lennox Lewis, the widely recognized Worlds Heavyweight Champion.
The Klitschko-McCline fight started slow and got slower. The first round was a jabbing contest easily won by Klitschko. That seemed to surprise McCline who has the longer reach and predicted he would display the superior jab. McCline is 66 tall, and he also out weighed Klitschko by 23 pounds. However the smaller Klitschko actually seemed bigger and stronger than McCline. McCline has the physical dimensions to match up with Klitschko, but lacks the science, skill, amateur background and pro experience. McCline fights off his back foot a lot and still has limited range and power on his jab. He doesnt get the jab out there with any great speed and power, and his other punches are unfinished as well. McCline was pumped up sky high, but he seemed to have a bundle of nervous energy that couldnt be converted into an offense. Jameel seemed very cool and composed in his dressing room, but a half-minute into the fight he seemed lost and confused.
Having seen Klitschko fight a number of times, the first time being over 4 years ago, Im amazed at his progress. His attack is much more fluid and he has much more range and power on all his punches than he did 3 years ago. His defense is far less one-dimensional and he moves his head a lot better. He stance is totally relaxed and he now holds his torso and shoulders like the best North American fighters do. He is always on the ball of his right foot and ready to crack with his right hand. Id say his biggest improvement is in the development of a very solid and balanced boxing stance.
It might seem odd, but Ill compare Klitschko to Joe Louis. When Louis fought giant heavyweights like Buddy Baer, Primo Carnera, and Abe Simon he never seemed to be the smaller or less powerful fighter. The Brown Bombers stance was so perfect and well balanced, and his jab had such good range and power on it, that bigger and stronger opponents seemed greatly diminished in their physical presence. Louis not only had great talent, but also had one of the greatest trainers of all time in Jack Blackburn. Klitschko speaks several languages and has been exposed to some of the best boxing trainers in Ukraine, Europe, and North America. He is well ahead of where Lewis was technically at the age of 26. He has gotten rave reviews from some of the top American trainers including Tommy Brooks, Ronnie Shields and Emanuel Steward. Steward is Lewis trainer and generally regarded as the best professional boxing trainer in the world.
The Klitschko-McCline fight was possibly not the greatest match-up for brawling fans. It was more a fight for boxing fans, as was the co-event featuring Mayweather and Castillo. McCline is a cautious fighter who likes to control his fights by out-boxing his opponents until he achieves the upper hand. He is not a young tiger who will absorb a punch in order to land one, and who forces the action to entertain the crowd. Hes perfectly content to win a decision. While not as cautious as McCline, Klitschko is also circumspect in the ring. He doesnt believe in taking unnecessary chances. Asked why he didnt attack harder, earlier in the fight, Klitschko replied, I use my head in the ring, because I want to use my head again in the future. By the tenth round McCline was finally broken down and Klitschko went for the kill. Klitschko attacked several times in the round with pulverizing left and right hooks and uppercuts. Just as it seemed McCline might make it through the round, Klitschko unleashed two left hooks to the ear and an overhand right behind the ear of a low ducking McCline. A bent over McCline covered up in his corner and was sent to the floor with left and right upper-hooks to the head. McCline was up at nine, and told the referee he could continue, but the bell rang and his corner intelligently stopped the fight between rounds.
In my view, Wladimir Klitschko is now the best heavyweight boxer in the world.
PATIENT KLITSCHKO BY 10th ROUND TKO
By Aidan Monaghan
08.12 - In a fight that did not live up to pre-fight expectations, Wladimir Klitschko patiently stalked a too cautious Jamile McCline for 10 uneventful rounds, eventually tagging the fatigued McCline with left hooks and right hands in the challengers corner with seconds remaining in the deciding round. McCline slumped to the canvas and seemed barely able to beat the referees ten count and between rounds, apparently at the advice of the ringside physician, McClines' corner brought a halt to the action.
For the trimmed down Klitschko, his record moves to 40-1 with 37 by way of knockout. During the early portion of the match both Klitschko and McCline exhibited a noteworthy respect for each other abilities and reputation however as the fight evolved and it became more apparent that McCline was seemingly less bullet-proof than believed, one was left wondering why Klitschko failed to finish his opponent sooner. While Klitschko came remarkably close numerous times throughout the match to landing certain power punches, McCline was unable to land any meaningful blows as this was reflected in the final Punch Stat results:
183 Landed 61
433 Thrown 307
42% Pct. 20%