Last Man Standing: Vitali Klitschko beats Corrie Sanders – So What?

25.04.04 – By Lee Hayes: Last night, April 24th, Vitali Klitschko faced off against Corrie Sanders.The fight was suppose to clear up all of the questions regarding the current heavyweight division. After watching the bout, I can only say that perhaps it has opened up more than ever.

The favorite in the bout was Klitschko. After all, he had only two losses on his record and a legion of fans backing him from around the world. Sanders, for his part, was a semi-retired boxer that prefers – by his own admission – shooting golf balls on the fairway to shooting out a straight jab. Before last nights fight, he’d fought just seven fights, totaling 16 rounds since June of 1998, when he ko’d Bobby Czyz in two rounds.The only reason that Sanders was even considered a suitable challenge for this match, was because of the way he dispatched Wladimir, Vitali’s younger brother over a year ago. His most noteworthy fight was probably his shoot out with Hasim Rahman in May 2000. A fight Sanders lost by TKO. After the Rahman loss, Sanders must have worked on his golf game, he sure didn’t spend much time in the gym. He fought just two fights over the next 35 months, knocking out someone named Michael Sprott in one round and knocking out Otis Tisdale in two, before upsetting Wladimir. Sanders was a huge underdog against Wladimir when he traveled to Germany. As it turned out, he only needed 17 connected punches over two rounds to do away with Klitschko, who was down four times in less than six minutes. In hindsight the fight had way more to do with Wladimir, than it did to do with Sanders.

In last nights fight, Klitschko showed up looking in terrific shape and he did his job, it was not his fault that Sanders showed up looking like he had been in a pie eating contest that lasted 4 months. As Vitali’s heavily muscled body stood in one corner, Sanders ample breasts heaved in the other. It should have been a pier six brawl. Instead, it was like seeing a jock athlete pick on the school fat kid. Is this what we can look forward to seeing from Klitschko in the future? Is he going to try and convince the boxing public that we need to see him in another stupid revenge bout, this time with Lamon Brewster? Perhaps. If Wladimir continues to fight, and keeps losing to 3rd and 4th level heavyweights, we can watch the WBC belt defended by Vitali in repetitive revenge bouts against the likes of Smokin’ Bert Cooper, Bruce Seldon, Lou Savarese and Ray Mercer. All of whom this writer believes would beat Wladimir in bouts that nobody should pay to see.

This article is not to say that Vitali Klitschko is not currently the best heavyweight out there. The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be anybody out there that can test him. Even casual boxing fans can surely see that the Sanders bout had more to do with the storyline than it did with the actually competitiveness. People seem to forget that Sanders was never suppose to win his bout with Wladimir. Team Klitschko chose him for that fight because they expected him to be a punching bag for young Klitschko in the same way he turned out to be for older Vitali. This writer wouldn’t pay one dime to see Vitali fight Lamon Brewster – a fighter who looks more like a semi pro line backer for a football team than a professional boxer. Lamon doesn’t have the skills to fight Vitali and it would be masochistic to put them in together.

What we the fans need is a real contender to rise from the young crop of heavys. Someone that has the skill and will to rise above the rest. A few boxing scribes think that Juan Carlos Gomez may be the man. Maybe a Calvin Brock or a Audley Harrison. The problem being, Brock and Harrison are only in their third years fighting. It is way too much to ask of them to challenge for the title this soon, regardless of our desires. Remember,when Vitali Klitschko was in his third year of fighting, he was taking on the likes of Marcus Rhode, Anthony Willis & Alben Belinksi, whomever they are.

It appears as though we must have the patience to deal with what is going to be coming in the next couple of years. Dr Klitschko will be beating up on the Lamon Brewsters of the world. Taking great risks with his title against the likes of Tony Thompsons’ or the Lance Whitakers’. Eventually one will come, one world conqueror that will if anything, give Klitschko a real fight.
Even Klitschko fans couldn’t ask for anything more.

This writer welcomes your comments and/or suggestions: