KLITSCHKOS VS. TYSON, FRAZIER & HOLYFIELD
Hey Doug, long time mailbag reader and first time writer.
Wow, I felt sorry for Tomasz Adamek. Big Bro was just too big. Every time someone announces they are fighting Vitali Klitschko I kid myself that they have a chance until about 30 seconds into the first round. Despite David Haye being a flop against Wlad, I would like to see him and Adamek in the ring with each other.
Anyway to my first question: How do you think some of the better smaller heavyweights of the past (in their primes) would have done against the Klitschkos?
The ones that spring to my mind are Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
My predictions are Tyson Ko's Wlad in 3 rounds, but against Vitali gets demoralised and is stopped in the late rounds.
Frazier beats Wlad by unanimous decision in a fight which they both have to dig deep. Against Vitali his head movement stops him being ko'd but he takes a lot of punishment on the way to a decision loss. Vitali doesn’t throw enough hooks to stop Frazier but fights too tall for him.
Holyfield beats Wlad by unanimous decision. Holyfield’s willingness to take a punch and his speed allow him to get on the inside and wear little bro down. Against Big Bro, Holyfield wins via a split decision. I think he would cause the bigger man to fight at a faster pace than he wants to in the early rounds then cause big bro enough problems between 9 and 12 to nip the decision.
My second question with almost everybody on every boxing forum only interested in arguing over who would win if Floyd Mayweather and Pacman actually got in the ring (taken to such an extreme that an outsider may think they’re only two boxers in the world), what fight would you most like to see in 2012? I go with Alfredo Angulo v Saul Alvarez (could definitely be a recipe for a Mexican classic). I would also love to see Kell Brook and Mike Jones go head to head as well. Cheers. — Chaz
Angulo vs. Alvarez is on my short list of must-see fights for 2012. Others include the Angulo-Alvarez winner vs. the winner of the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito rematch, Andre Ward-Carl Froch winner vs. Lucian Bute, Brandon Rios vs. Robert Guerrero (at 135 or 140 pounds), Timothy Bradley vs. Andre Berto (at 147 pounds) or Marcos Maidana or Lucas Mathysee (at 140), Nonito Donaire vs. Vic Darchinyan (at 118 pounds) or the Toshiaki Nishioka-Rafael Marquez winner (at 122), and I hate say it, but if Mayweather beats Ortiz on Saturday and Pacquiao defeats Marquez, the one true mega matchup in the sport is something I want to see (even though the internet back-and-forth between their obnoxious fans will make me sick).
I’m also still interested in watching Adamek-Haye. I'd like to see the winner of that match fight Alexander Povetkin or Chris Arreola. Those are good fights, though probably not as interesting as your mythical matchups between the K-brothers and the small badasses of the modern-era.
I agree with your call on the prime Tyson. Big Bro has the style, chin and temperament to weather Iron Mike’s early storm and then beat the fight out of Brooklyn’s finest. Baby Bro could get lucky with a big shot early, but I think he’d get overwhelmed before too many doubts started creeping into Tyson’s head.
I think Frazier stops Wladdy by the middle to late rounds by getting inside, killing his body and then catching him with a few clean hooks to the jaw once he got the big body against the ropes. Vitali would take a lot of punishment against Smoking Joe but he’d also dish a lot out while the 5-foot-10 power-punching pressure fighter tried to get in close enough to pound the body (which is a tender area for both brothers). I don’t think Vitali can fight on the inside, so Frazier would have a shot at breaking him down if he could get close enough for long enough to do his brand of damage, but I think Big Bro would rearrange his face by the middle rounds and he’d be woozy and swinging blind down the stretch. I’m going to go with Vitali over Frazier by late TKO or by decision.
I think the prime Holyfield could have taken both brothers the distance in toss-up fights. He would be busier and more aggressive boxer but he would also get visibly hurt more often than the giants. I wouldn’t be shocked if Wladdy put him down once or twice. But there’s no discounting Holyfield’s heart, even against giants. He proved that with his fights against Riddick Bowe (who was more talented and versatile than the K-Bros when Holyfield fought him) and Lennox Lewis (who faced a faded version of the Real Deal).
GAMBOA & VITALI
What's up Dougie,
Yuriorkis Gamboa's pretty good. They should make Gamboa-Juan Manuel Lopez happen soon. I think Nonito Donaire will handle either one of them should he decide to move up, but they would make for some nice fights.
Who I really wanted to talk about is Vitali Klitschko. He's the man! I give him the edge over his lil' brother because he's shown more heart and a better chin in the past. Lennox Lewis knew something the rest of didn't know after he fought him because he decided not to fight again instead of having to give Vitali a rematch. When you look at it in that context, you can say that he retired Lennox.
I've said it before, the K-Bros will be the kings of the heavyweight division until they decide to call it a career and the haters are just going to have to deal with it. I like the guys, aside from being bad asses, they're smart, humble dudes. If I had a kid that wanted to get into boxing I'd tell him, "Be like the Klitschkos." What do you think, Dougie? — Miguel, LBC
Yeah, if I had a boxing son who happened to be freakishly tall and rangy for whatever weight class he occupied, I’d have him watch a lot of recent Klitschko fights for style and technical pointers. Regardless of his physical stature, I’d want him to emulate the out-of-the-ring behavior of the brothers, starting with his earning a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate college degrees.
I think you’re right about the Klitschkos being the kings of the heavyweight division until they retire. Vitali’s coach says he only plans to fight a few more times, but if he wanted to, I think he could dominate until he was 45 or 46. Same with his brother.
All I can say about Vitali vs. Lennox is that Lewis hit him with a flush uppercut during that fight that literally created the sound of a thunderclap in the Staples Center arena upon impact and Klitschko didn’t even wobble. I think two thoughts crossed Lewis’ mind at that moment, “There ain’t gonna be a rematch,” and “I’ve had enough of this boxing bulls__t.”
They should make Gamboa-Juan Manuel Lopez happen soon? Um, yeah, like LAST YEAR. I think Gamby’s run out of opponents at 126 pounds. Mikey Garcia and Gary Russell Jr. won’t be ready for another year or so. I’d rather see them fight each other than get chewed up by the Cuban.
Gamboa-Lopez can happen at 130 pounds, if the Puerto Rican southpaw can get his mojo back. I wouldn’t mind seeing Gamboa fight the winner of Adrien Broner vs. whoever he winds up fighting for the vacant WBO title in November, Takashi Uchiyama (who is a lot better than most fans know) or even Juan Carlos Salgado (who just regained a belt over the weekend) at junior lightweight.
Hi Sir Fischer,
That’s a good question, Rowel. (And thank you for referring to me as Sir Fischer. I haven’t been knighted to my knowledge but I like how it sounds.) I suppose it depends on how the big welterweight showdown on Saturday goes down, but my hunch is that the Filipino icon’s status as the No. 1 welterweight and the sport’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter is safe until his own showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez.
If Mayweather handles Ortiz and wins by decision or late TKO, I think he’ll probably be installed at No. 2 in the P4P and No. 2 at welterweight, right behind his rival. If Pacquiao fails to dominate or impress against Marquez, I can see Mayweather overtaking him in the 147-pound rankings because of his one-sided victory over JMM and the fact that he’s defeated two top-five rated welterweights back-to-back (Shane Mosley and Ortiz). The P4P ranking is harder to figure. Pacquiao hasn’t faced murder’s row (Clottey, Margarito, Mosley) since his impressive 12th-round TKO of Miguel Cotto, but he’s been more active than Mayweather whose last three bouts (Hatton, Marquez, Mosley) span more than 3½ years.
As long as Pacquiao doesn’t lose to Marquez, I think his P4P No. 1 status is safe. Mayweather can get back into the No. 2 spot, but he’ll have to really look good against Ortiz to displace Sergio Martinez and Nonito Donaire, in my opinion. Those two aren’t just beating world-class opposition, they’re knocking them the ‘F’ out.
And what if Ortiz does that to Mayweather? Well, he’ll definitely solidify that No. 2 welterweight ranking behind your boy. LOL. Some will argue that he deserves to be No. 1 after beating two undefeated welterweight standouts in back-to-back bouts. They might have an argument given the career trajectory of Manny’s welterweight opposition so far (De La Hoya, Cotto, Clottey, Mosley). I know this, though, Ortiz will earn a spot in the P4P top 10 if he can take out Floyd. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s see what happens on Sept. 17 and on Nov. 12.
Hey Dougie, long time reader, first time writer. Just got a few observations to share.
Did anyone really prefer seeing Tomasz Adamek get the s__t beaten out of him relentlessly for 9 and a bit rounds than Haye-Wladimir?! Yes, Haye didn't go all out like Adamek did, but he had his moments and we all knew that he was waiting for a chance to unload the right where he could potentially knock Wladimir out at any time. I know he's a personal favourite of yours, and was a great cruiserweight, but Adamek had no chance against Vitali. In my opinion, the only way to beat either Klitschko is to knock them out, as their size along with their skills and boxing IQ is too much to consistently take rounds off them, and Adamek was never gonna take Vitali out.
Robert Helenius vs either Klitschko in about 18 months will be a great fight; I still believe Haye has the best shot of beating a Klitschko at the moment (I know I'll get slaughtered for saying this, but I back my guy to redeem himself). Be real, who would you rather see one of the big men face? At least Haye always has a puncher’s chance, plus great athleticism and underrated ring IQ.
McCloskey-Prescott was a good scrap, I scored the bout a draw, but both looked like they've gone as far as they can. Neither will be able to seriously challenge any of the top eight Ring-rated fighters in the division. I'm from the UK and you'd be amazed how many people over here buy the "McCloskey was on his way to knocking Khan out" balls__t. Yes, he made Khan miss and not look great, but he threw nothing himself and looked terrible!
If Khan can't goad Tim Bradley into a fight, he should fight Lucas Matthysse or Marcos Maidana then move up to 147. He's fast running out of intriguing matchups, and does anyone really care for him fighting Erik Morales or Lamont Peterson? Everyone wants to see him face punchers, and I think he comes out on top against both of those. Think of this, he consistently took Maidana's biggest shots for 12 rounds and didn't go down. How do people still buy the dodgy chin stuff?! Did anyone see the absolute bomb that rocked him in the 10th?! And Maidana was more hurt by Khan's body shot in the 1st, surely he should be forced in with great body punchers every fight to "prove himself"!
Take it easy man, and keep up the good work! — Callum, UK
I like the idea of Khan vs. Matthysse. That’s a damn good fight. I think we’ll probably get Khan vs. Peterson in December, before the UK standout jumps to welterweight. I’m OK with that fight. I’m no longer questioning Khan’s whiskers, so I don’t mind seeing how he handles a busy technician.
Regarding McCloskey-Prescott, I think Breidis is a one-hit wonder and his 15 minutes of fame are over. However, I believe McCloskey has the style and guts to give bigger, stronger and more talented junior welterweights trouble on a good night. He can be a spoiler if the favorite doesn’t give him his due respect. (And by the way, I didn’t think he would beat Khan, but he made Amir look so bad I picked Zab Judah to beat Khan. So UK fight fans aren‘t the only delusional folks out there.)
I don’t know if Robert Helenius vs either Klitschko in about 18 months will be a “great” fight but it will be worth watching. If Helenius keeps winning and improving, I’ll definitely be interested in what happens.
I don’t care to see Haye vs. Vitali. If he was intimidated by Wladdy’s height and reach, he’ll be completely useless against Big Bro, who will beat the life out of him. “Puncher’s chance” is another way of saying he has to get lucky. And by the way, I think Vitali can take his best shot.
This might sound sadistic, but I absolutely preferred watching Adamek get punished vs. Vitali than Haye pussy footing around the ring vs. Wladdy (pun definitely intended). The fact that Haye had the power to turn the fight and even knock Wlad out and never once made a concentrated effort to or took an extended risk in order to make it happen is why the fight was so disappointing and infuriating to watch. By contrast, Adamek had no hope, but still risked getting hit and hurt by a sturdier, meaner version of Wladimir. Call me old fashioned, but I’m moved by that kind of courage in the ring.
ADAMEK VS. HAYE
Hey Doug, hope all's well.
Firstly, if David Haye was chastised for his performance vs Wladimir Klitschko, then how can Tomasz Adamek's display against Vitaly be described as a 'spirited, gallant effort' and all the other crap that's being spewed out of the boxing media? Was it just me or was Adamek's performance even more hapless and less effective than Haye's? At least Haye had Wladimir worried with one or two early swings, albeit wild ones, and he was never particularly rocked or troubled by the younger brother. To me, Adamek took a beat down and did not trouble Klitschko with a single shot. Haye was branded a villain and a coward, and it's understandable with his post fight antics and his sh** talk prior to the fight, but with regards to physical, in-ring performance, Haye's was as good as the Pole's if not better.
I'm not a Haye fan and I'm sure I never will be, but I know I'd sure as hell watch him take on Vitaly sooner than I'd watch Adamek take on Wladimir. And for my money, not one heavyweight on the planet will break the K-bros. Not Povetikin, not Helenius, not Price and not Fury. If Lennox Lewis couldn't knock a less mature Vitaly on his ass with the bombs he threw in 2003, then nobody in the modern era will. I think it's time for the brothers to receive the credit that they deserve. They're intelligent and supreme athletes, astute money makers and also class acts outside of the ring. And for me, they are two great heavyweight champions. Hell, Rocky Marciano struggled to find quality opposition but is still revered by most boxing fans. And it should be the same with the bros.
Take it easy and I hope you and your family enjoyed the summer. — Gavan, Ireland
I don’t think one can really compare the Klitschkos with Marciano. They are different animals from different eras with radically different career/life circumstances.
Marciano is revered for a lot of reasons, one of which is that he died tragically and before his time. He’s also the only heavyweight champ to have retired undefeated. And, unlike the Klitschko brothers, he was an all-action fighter who was in many hard-fought, entertaining scraps. Marciano was also extremely limited in terms of his size and technical ability, but he overcame these physical challenges and eventually grabbed what was once the biggest prize in sports.
I’m not saying that fans (most of whom are Americans) are fair in their criticism of the Klitschkos, but I am saying that it’s easier for most root for the little limited guy than the giant gifted guy.
Personally, I think both brothers deserve to be in the pound-for-pound top 10 and I believe both will one day be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Why was Haye was “chastised for his performance vs Wladimir Klitschko” Adamek's “display against Vitali” described as a “spirited, gallant effort” by the media? It’s very simple.
Haye had the God-given ability to win the heavyweight championship of the world but lacked the balls to truly go for it when the opportunity was staring right in the face. Adamek was not gifted with the size or the athletic talent to achieve his ultimate dream, but he gave it all he had any damn way.
Doug Fischer can be emailed at email@example.com