31.08.06 – By Cesar R.: When November arrives, the premier Heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko will apparently make the first defence of his IBF belt against Calvin Brock. The Steel hammer will try to take away, for the 5th time, the undefeated record of a fighter and also will continue giving arguments of why we should forget about his embarrasing losses from the past. Brock is currently the most promising undefeated American boxer, deservedly so.
Brock is a real Top10 fighter – not like Shannon Briggs, a boxer that was on talks to fight Klitschko and had almost a done deal – after his wins against Clifford Ettienne, Timor Ibragimov and, more importantly, Jameel McCline. He also looked very strong when he fought and kayoed Zuri Lawrence. Being ranked #3 in the IBF and #7 in The Ring Magazine also helps to prove he is a fighter of high caliber. It is a wiser choice than Briggs, who is a former Linear Champion but has never defeated a contender in all his life (unless you count the polemical decision in his showdown against George Foreman, in 1997) and actually lost against Jameel McCline..
The Klitschko brothers have their own mini-story with Brock. During his mediocre two-year reign, Vitali was appointed to meet Rahman in late 2005, but he was coming out of surgery and looking for an easy fight in August or September; before facing The Rock. He contacted James Toney and made him an offer, but Toney declined because he wanted an unrealistic amount of money. Then Vitali tried to face current WBC beltholder Oleg Maskaev (in that time Oleg was no more than a fringe contender), who had beaten him in the amateurs, but there was so much opposition to make that fight (from the fans, the media and the businessmen) that it was also discarded. Finally a deal was “99% done” with 26-0 Calvin Brock. Most people felt it was a decent choice, although there was a huge sector that thought that Brock was still green. But the WBC send bad news to Vitali: he couldn’t face anyone except Rahman in his next fight. Brock was obviously disappointed, but just after that episode there were some rumours of a fight between Brock and Wladimir. After one year, now it is going to happen.
Personally, I think that Briggs would have given Klitschko a tougher challenge. In that fight, Briggs offence would have made Klitschko come out of his fortress to counterattack. And when Klitschko accepts that kind of invitation, he exceeds and his stamina vaporizes. In other words, he runs out of gas. We know that when he losses his stamina his temperament changes, his strenght decreases, he becomes an untoothed tiger, a bald Samson.
The level of the opponent has increased, but apparently the level of the challenge has reduced. Brock does everything right, he is a good boxer, but does not excel in anything. He looks like a fighter without any major flaw in which the enemy can capitalize, but also he seems to be without any important advantage. However, some boxers that have faced Brock say that he has an A-grade power, so include Wladimir’s chin in the equation and there could be some drama in the ring.