28.09.05- By Andy Meacock: When it was first announced that Wladimir Klitschko had agreed to fight Samuel Peter I was very pleased. On paper it was a fight that had many questions. Such questions like the following…Can Klitschko’s chin hold up to the power punching Nigerian Peter? Can Peter’s chin hold up to the power punching Klitschko?
Is either man in good enough condition to go the full twelve rounds if needed? If Klitschko gets knocked down, will he cave in?
These were just a few of many questions that pundits and fans alike wondered about.
I knew this had the potential to be like Lewis/Tua or Lewis/Tyson but I still had doubts. These doubts were proven wrong on Saturday night when Klitschko delivered a dominant performance to earn a well deserved unanimous decision.
Wladimir Klitschko looked excellent on Saturday night. He had a solid jab, a nice right cross and great left hook that shook Peter up badly in the final round.
The truth is I was impressed with Klitschko. I knew that he was capable of this type of performance but I was still very cautious to pick him because of the past issues he’s had regarding his conditioning and questions regarding his chin. He answered the question regarding his conditioning but his chin is still appears to be far from granite.
Now without wishing to take anything away from Klitschko’s brave performance I have to ask the question, did Klitschko make Peter look bad or did Peter make Klitschko look good?
Prior to this fight I’d only seen one fight with Peter and it was a quick knockout victory. Being honest, I didn’t know that much about Peter, only what I’d been hearing. For Peter to win this fight he needed to neutralize Klitschko’s reach advantage and jab. Peter disappointed me in this respect. Peter looked very slow and showed very poor head movement. Many of us used to drool at the brilliant head movement of Mike Tyson when he was fighting in his prime. Tyson was pretty much always the smaller fighter in his fights and was able to beat bigger men by using this movement, allowing him to slip the jab.
Peter is no prime Tyson however. Peter also seemed very one-dimensional and seemed like an obsessive head-hunter. I lost count of the number of times I saw openings for Peter to attack Klitschko’s body and I feel that a more constructive body/head strategy would have served him better in this fight.
I’m trying not to take too much away from Klitschko who showed good resolve in getting up from three knockdowns (the first two which I considered to be unfair) and winning but I just don’t think that Peter is all that. I feel that Peter is a heavy handed fighter who looked devastating against lower class opponents and was overly hyped as the next big thing. I don’t expect him to win a world title in future unless he makes changes with his style, i.e. better head movement, more varied combinations etc…
Next up for Klitschko will most likely be Chris Byrd. Klitschko beat Byrd in dominant fashion five years ago and I fancy him to do the same in the rematch as Byrd’s punch is not likely to cause Klitschko any real damage. After that, it’d be nice to see how he would handle a more advanced fighter than Peter but one who packs a punch. A match with Hasim Rahman or maybe a fight against James Toney would be interesting and if he could convincingly beat either or those two then I would have more confidence in him.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Wladimir on a great victory, it was nice to see him regain his credibility after so much bad press but in the same respect I’ll reserve my judgement on whether his confidence has fully returned until I see him beat a different, better fighter than Peter…
If you agree/disagree with my assessment of Wladimir Klitschko, Samuel Peter or anything else covered in this article then leave the comments below.