RING, IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko weighed 246.9 pounds compared to 249.1 for Polish-born challenger Mariusz Wach on Friday in advance of Saturday’s EPIX-televised clash from the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
The 6-foot-6 Klitschko (58-3-1, 51 knockouts) will be after his 17th straight victory and his 13th knockout during that run against the 6-7 1/2 Wach (27-0, 15 KOs), a 32-year-old who represents the first time that Klitschko will face a taller rival.
Klitschko will tackle Wach without Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel “Manny” Steward, who died on Oct. 25 at the age of 68. Before his death, Steward instructed Klitschko to replace him with chief sparring partner Johnathon Banks in preparation for Wach, who is in pursuit of his eighth consecutive stoppage victory.
Being televised on EPIX as the Klitschko-Wach co-feature is the return of heavyweight Robert Helenius (17-0, 11 KOs) opposite Sherman “Tank” Williams (39-11-2, 19 KOs), of Vero Beach, Fla., from The Ice Hall in Helsinki, Finland. The 6-6 1/2 Helenius weighed 249.3 pounds compared to the career-high 264.8 for the 5-11 Williams.
After coaching Klitschko, Banks (28-1-1, 18 KOs) will face unbeaten Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs) on Nov. 17 as part of a doubleheader featuring undefeated former WBO junior lightweight beltholder Adrien Broner challenging WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The 6-3 Banks is 8-0-1 with four knockouts in his past nine bouts, last falling by eighth-round stoppage as a 200-pounder to Tomasz Adamek in February of 2009 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Photo by Seppo Sirkka, Eastpress.fi
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com