Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wladimir Klitschko retains heavyweight titles with dominating performance

A boxer certainly needs to possess an excellent chin, but if that’s all he’s got, he’s not going to become a world champion. Poland’s Mariusz Wach found this out the hard way in Hamburg, Germany on Nov. 10 when 36-year-old world champion Wladimir Klitschko pounded him around the ring for 12 rounds while defending his IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA heavyweight titles on the way to an easy unanimous decision.

Wach, who was an inch taller at Klitschko at 6-foot-7½, came out on the wrong end of a lopsided decision by scores of 119-109, 120-107, and 120-107. He landed just one telling blow in the fight which came with 16 seconds to go in the fifth round. He landed a solid right hook to the head of the champion and staggered him, but the bell rang to end the round before he could do any follow-up damage with his ensuing flurry.
It was Klitschko’s 13th consecutive title defense, who admitted that the 32-year-old Wach caught him with a good shot in the fifth, but he made his opponent pay for it big time in the seventh and eighth rounds.

Klitschko poured the pressure on in these two stanzas and had the big Pole wobbling after landing numerous combinations. However, to the surprise the thousands of fans in attendance at the O2 World Arena and millions more watching on television, Wach stayed upright and made it to the end of the 12th round.
After suffering his first loss as a professional, Wach said it was definitely the toughest fight of his career and he apologized to his fans and family for not living up to his pre-fight promises of a victory. Klitschko was in a generous mood after the bout as he said Wach boxed brilliantly, which wasn’t exactly the truth. With the win, Klitschko saw his record rise to 59-3 with 51 KOs while Wach fell to 27-1 with 15 KOs.

It was Klitschko’s first bout since his friend and trainer Emmanuel Steward passed away from cancer in October and the first time in nine years the likeable trainer wasn’t in his corner. Klitschko dedicated the bout to the 68-year-old Steward and named fellow heavyweight boxer Jonathon Banks as his new trainer. As usual, Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, the WBC heavyweight champion, was also in his corner. The older Klitschko claimed that it was hard for Wladimir to fight after the death of Steward. He added that it was a brutal fight and Wach somehow managed to stay on his feet after taking so much punishment.

Klitschko’s plan was quite simple as he threw solid one-two combinations consisting of a stiff left jab followed up by a solid right hand to the head. He landed so many blows in the eighth round that it looked like referee Eddie Cotton was going to jump between the two and put an end to the onslaught. Between them, the Klitschko brothers have dominated the heavyweight division over the past decade and are running out of opponents.

Ian Palmer

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