By Geoffrey Ciani: Fans of the heavyweight division finally have something to celebrate! For the first time in what seems like an eternity, unification is upon us. No, this one is not for all the marbles, but at least we will have someone who can claim to be a unified champion for the first time since Lennox Lewis decided to drop the IBF strap rather than face Chris Byrd. Not that I believe Byrd would have actually beaten Lewis, but that is a theme for another article..
Wladimir Klitschko is widely recognized as the best heavyweight in the world and for pretty good reason. Not only does Klitschko possess tremendous size and power to go along with the best jab in the division, but he has actually been improving since joining forces with Emmanuel Steward. Indeed, Klitschko has come a long way since the Brewster debacle and the Sanders fiasco.
On paper, this weekend’s unification bout between Klitschko and WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov appears like a mismatch. Klitschko is clearly the more talented fighter, with a better resume and more big fight experience. Ever since winning the IBF championship after knocking out Chris Byrd in their 2004 rematch, Klitschko has had three successful title defenses, all by way of knockout. By comparison, Ibragimov has looked less than spectacular in lackluster decisions over an aging Shannon Briggs and an ancient Evander Holyfield.
Since a Klitschko KO victory seems like a preordained conclusion, this begs the question: Can Sultan Ibragimov beat Wladimir Klitschko?
Of course, the answer to that question is yes. It is certainly plausible that Ibragimov can win. After all, this is boxing—a sport whose shining moments are often defined by the improbable. Whether we are discussing Cassius Clay’s upset victory over Sonny Liston or Mike Tyson’s shocking loss at the hands of Buster Douglas, time has proven that anything can happen when two pugilists lace up the gloves and enter the ring, especially in the heavyweight division.
A better question, however, might be: Will Ibragimov beat Klitschko?
Frankly, I find such an outcome to be extremely improbable. Klitschko is a seasoned pro who is not apt to make many mistakes in the ring, and in order for Ibragimov to win, Klitschko is going to need to make several mistakes. Under the tutorship of Steward, Wladimir has learned how to utilize his size, remain patient, and keep his composure under duress. This means it will be very unlikely for Ibragimov to be provided the type of opportunities he needs to have any chance at winning the contest.
On the other hand, I have always believed that when Klitschko ultimately loses, it would be against an opponent the boxing community would least expect to beat him, and in that light, Ibragimov seems to fit the bill. He is not known for having a tremendous KO punch and he is not known for being a sensational technician, but then again, he has respectable power and decent skills, so anything can happen.
Perhaps Ibragimov will go for broke early, and find a way to catch Wlad with a big left he never saw coming like Corrie Sanders did? Or maybe he can weather the storm, forcing Klitschko to punch himself out, following the Ross Purity blueprint? Is it also conceivable that Wladimir might just have an off-night? Of course, all of these scenarios are possible, but they seem highly unlikely. In the end, I suspect Klitschko will stop Ibragimov inside the distance, but that is what makes heavyweight boxing so exciting, and this is why we tune in to see the fights.
Either way, come Sunday, we will have a unified champion for the first time in nearly five years, and that is something for fans to get excited about.
To contact Ciani:
To read more by Ciani please visit The Mushroom Mag:
Latest Boxing News
- Teofimo Lopez On Lomachenko Fight: “There Ain’t No Rematch Clause. I Know Why”
- The Tragic Pintor Vs. Owen Fight – The World Should Never Forget Johnny Owen; Lupe Pintor Never Will
- Ten Years Ago: When A Young Canelo Alvarez Scored A One-Punch KO Win Over The Iron-Chinned Carlos Baldomir
- Pedraza – Molina and Efe Ajagba – Rice LIVE on ESPN+ on Saturday
- Erickson “Hammer” Lubin vs. Terrell Gausha Presser quotes
- Marciano Vs. Charles II – When “The Cincinnati Cobra” Almost Won By A Nose
- Is It A Joke, Or Will Floyd Mayweather Really Fight Logan Paul?
- Angel Manfredy Looks Back: I Heard A Voice And I Knew I’d Never Fight Again
- Fury-Wilder III – “You Will See A Completely Different Deontay,” Says Wilder Protégé Raphael Akpejiori
- Anthony Joshua Will Fight Kubrat Pulev This Year – “Fans Or No Fans”
From The Boxing Forums
- Adrien "The Problem" Broner
- Jaime Munguia vs Tureano Johnson in October
- Your hipster boxing opinions?
- Tommy Hearns at MW had bigger arms than Ali
- Has Canelo ever defeated the #1 in any division without controversy?
- Canelo vs Yildirim purse bid on September 21st
- Teofimo Lopez: There's No Rematch Clause In Contracts For Lomachenko Fight
- Rate Pacquiao's chin.
- Búfalo Boxing Promotions: Alexander Enrique Espinoza Rivera vs. Arón David Juárez Morales III RBR
- Where is Wilder these days genuinely?
Latest Boxing Results:
- Erickson Lubin vs. Terrell Gausha: Perfectly Punch or Weak Chin?
- Photos: Kavaliauskas KOs Zewski & Gonzalez defeats Marriaga
- Anthony Yarde Stops Dec Spelman In Six – Boxing Results
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas beats Mikael Zewski – Boxing Results
- Fedor Chudinov Wins In Russia, Danny Williams Is Stopped, Again – Boxing Results
- Yordenis Ugas: A Fighter The Judges Just Don’t Seem To Like
- Fight Report: Bendana Stops Beattie – Let Battle Commence II Boxing Results
- Saul Bustos defeats Luis Lopez – Boxing Results
- Photos: Ugas edges Ramos to win WBA welterweight title
- Yordenis Ugas decisions Abel Ramos – Boxing Results