25.04.04 – By Frank Lotierzo – GlovedFist@Juno.com – Over the last few years I have been very adamant about the size of today’s top Heavyweight fighters. I believe that this so called era of Super-heavyweights is way overblown. I believe that the top ten from other era’s could’ve fought with and beat the top ten of today. Don’t take this wrong, size is definitely a factor, but it’s only huge if a fighter can’t fight.
As far as I’m concerned, Lennox Lewis was the only outstanding/great Heavyweight who was bigger than Ali, Foreman, and Holmes. Riddick Bowe had the potential to be something special regarding Heavyweights’s over 6’4″ 230. It just so happens that his body of work wasn’t complete enough in my opinion to be included. He was every bit as skilled as Lewis, and maybe even more so, but he just didn’t put together the overall resume that Lewis did.
At this time WBC Champ Vitali Klitschko is the fighter perceived to be the top Heavyweight in the World. I guess I have to be included among them. Based on the fact that at the present time there isn’t another Heavyweight out there who I would pick to beat him head-to-head. He is over 6’7″ and weighs over 250 pounds with a long reach, has power, outstanding mental toughness, complimented by a very sturdy chin.
I believe in the case of Vitali Klitschko, size does matter. First of all there isn’t another really big Heavyweight currently fighting who is anything special. Too me this makes him the only really good super big guy. This can not be overlooked and is the main reason why Vitali is regarded as the top fighter in the division. It’s not that he is so great or outstanding, it’s just that he brings a lot to the ring for today’s top fighters to over come.
If you look at the fighters who are more skilled them him and have the basics and foundation to beat him, they’re just not big or strong enough. Fighters like Byrd, Toney, and Jones have it all over him as far as fighters go, but their lack of size, strength, and power makes it a very steep mountain for them to climb if they were to fight him. On the other hand the fighters that have the size to compete with him like Ruiz, Rahman, Johnson, and McCline just aren’t good enough. Although they may have the weight and strength to compete, their overall game just isn’t there for me to envision them coming out on top.
What Klitschko has going for him besides his size is that he is very tough mentally. It’s amazing how just a short time ago many including yours truly questioned his character and make up after he fought Chris Byrd. One thing is certain, he sure has changed that perception. Mental toughness of a fighter is huge and can never be taken lightly or overlooked. This alone makes it a monumental task for the likes of some of the other fighters in the division to hurdle when facing him.
Couple the size and toughness with the fact that he has tremendous stamina, and it’s easy to see why he’s looked upon as the fighter to beat in the division. I must admit that I have been very impressed by Vitali’s stamina. For a fighter as big as him, it’s outstanding.
In the case of Klitschko, his size does matter. What you have is a big strong fighter with tremendous heart and stamina with some ability, fighting in a division where many of the other titlist and contenders style’s have a few glaring weakness and short comings. This is why it’s so easy to realize that his size is such a factor.
In the final analysis I must admit, I’m not blown away by Vitali Klitschko the fighter. I think he is only a fair boxer and his power I believe may be a trifle overrated. I doubt that he’ll ever be regarded in the same reverence as Holyfield, Lewis, and Tyson. However, I do consider him a damn good Heavyweight fighter with possibly his biggest fights ahead of him. I can certainly see why many consider him the fighter to be reckoned with in this current Heavyweight division. However, that is mainly based on his size and toughness along with him being caught in a very depleted era. That’s not taking a shot at him either, it’s just the truth.