By Andrew Walker: IBF & IBO champion Wladimir Klitschko (50-3, 44 KOs) took another step towards unifying the heavyweight division with a decisive victory over WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov (22-1-1, 17 KOs) at New York City’s Madison Square Garden tonight. In what could only be described as a dull one sided fight the far superior Wladimir Klitschko repeatedly fended off the smaller Ibragimov with his left jab and little else the entire twelve rounds of the fight. When Wladimir Klitschko did let the right hand loose he had success with it nearly every time and a sustained attack could have seen the fight finish earlier via a knockout but this did not happen.
After just three rounds the crowd began to boo the fighters in the hope of stirring them on to inject some excitement into the fight but it never came. Ibragimov had no answer for the left jab of Klitschko and repeatedly stuck to his game plan of winging in punches in the hope of creating an opening to build on. Despite having no success with this plan Ibragimov stuck with it none the less whilst Klitschko just racked the points up with the left jab. In the ninth round Klitschko almost knocked down Ibragimov but the ropes held him up and it was not recorded by the ref.
Then in the tenth round Ibragimov tackled the bigger Klitschko to the floor in a display that would not look out of place in a WWF wrestling ring. It was clear that Klitschko was the superior boxer but the crowd and the watching fans want more then this from a heavyweight champion and if Klitschko is to reignite interest in the division then he needs to start using his right as well as his left. He obviously has the talent to beat the other belt holders in this division but whether he has five belts strapped around his waist or just one I’m not sure that I would pay to see him fight again if he is going to box behind his jab to score a decision.
The Heavyweight division is in dire need of another monster like Mike Tyson to kick start some life into it and I just don’t see one on the horizon right now. Do you? Names like Cruiserweight champion David Haye and current Heavyweight prospect Alexander Povetkin are mentioned as the future of the division but it will take more then them to awaken this sleeping giant.
Score card: 119-110, 117-111, 118-110 all in favour of Wladimir Klitschko.