Klitschko: The Stinkening

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I have always thought that the Klitchko's get bad press, in the main, because they're intelligent, educated, good-looking Ukrainians who carry around Phd.s and world championship belts, winning a lot of fights simply by being better than the other guy.

This is, I feel, certainly a valid point.

They are, however, the first fighters I saw to use the tactic of hitting their opponent's lead arm so as to nullify the jab. Sure; they look for the right through the middle to follow, but this makes for a lot of pawing and a spectacle not unlike two 6 year old girls having a mild tiff. They aren't the most exciting fighters you've ever seen, though I rate Vitali's loss to Lewis as the best fight of last decade (sure it was ended on cuts, and Lewis was flagrantly out of condition, but what a fight! And, if you look at it in a historical context, it's clearly the most important heavyweight contest - though no-one knew that at the time - of the last three decades. I will argue about this some other time - maybe write a book on it).

The Klitschko related news is: Wladimir will be facing 'Fast' Eddie Chambers in Duesseldorf on the 20th of March. Now, as you can imagine, my first thought was 'I have to be there - I'll save up all my money, book a hotel for the week, soak up all the Klitschko magic before the fight, and join the wild celebrations afterwards. I want to have BEEN THERE when Wladimir Klitschko outpointed 'Fast' (only a moniker - he's actually pretty sluggish) Eddie over twelve dull rounds of pawing, colliding, passionless heavyweight boxing'.

I rushed to youtube to look-up 'Payday' (suggested new moniker - more apt) Eddie to find some inspiring knock-out fare - some sign that David Haye is not the only fighter in the heavyweight division who you wouldn't have to pay me to watch. What did I find? A numb-skulled outpointing of a fat Samuel Peter - who any contender should be licking their lips to face. Think of the press they'd get for convincingly knocking out a former world champ! A fat Samuel Peter is like a fattened calf or a Larry Holmes to the Tyson slaughter.

I put up with that for two disappointing, lethargic, unambitious rounds before flicking fights to his latest against Alexander Dimitrenko. Here, Chambers showed that peculiar recent American disease of expecting the decision after twelve without putting in the work to earn it. They just seem to expect the win for making it to the end. Carl Froch has benefited handsomely from this tendency, as Calzaghe did before him.

Dimitrenko is one of those upright, gangly, ridiculous fighters (see Mario Veit, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35KqYUKUazg) who always looks like they're about to fall stiffly to the canvass. The sort of fighter you feel shouldn't be allowed to box until he learns to roll with the punches because it's too painful to watch. It's like you can see his brain bouncing around his skull like some kind of extraordinarily badly conceived shock absorber, while his rigid head carries a pained expression on its face... its just a horrible, worrying sight... Yet this walking knock-out managed to score a draw on one judge's scorecard against our man 'Payday'. I couldn't possibly comment - I could only stand it for two distressing, clutching rounds - but any mixed-decision could just as easily be a loss.

Then there's his loss to Povetkin - by now I was desperate to watch something exciting, so a Povetkin display should do the trick... errr... no... a dull, if dominant, decision to the Russian Knight, who is still a rookie with only 18 fights under his undefeated belt, so he gets a pass. However; I feel deflated.

What am I saying? I'm saying what has been said a million times, but I'm saying it again - these heavyweights are a bunch of dull, safety first, pawing, boring, snoring drones who couldn't knock down a mannequin if given eight weeks training, the most cunning strategy and a cricket bat. This article charts the final stages of the journey of one mediocre fighter to what could be the summit of his sport and it's terribly uninspiring. The only bright spark is that he hasn't got a prayer against Wladimir - the fact that he will never win the fight at least keeps the long-reigning champ in place so when Haye's done with Ruiz there will be an interesting fight on the cards.

But, for now, why would anyone want to watch this fight?

Beware: The Stinkening is here.
Wladimir Klitschko Phd. versus 'Payday' Eddie Chambers, 20th March 2010
Utterly meaningless jostling you'd best avoid.


Gilman Grundy 26 January 2010 at 14:25  

Heavyweight boxing - hell, boxing in general - is in bad need of a boost, but nobody at the top seems to realise it. Hell, at this rate we're all going to be watching mixed martial arts in a few years and giving the fights a miss - at least those guys fight each other more than once every few years, and their not so shy of injuries.

Lot Grundy 27 January 2010 at 02:37  

MMA is a compelling watch, but it doesn't need to be in direct competition with boxing. What's fantastic about boxing is that there is always the chance of the knock-out from nowhere and the rules dictate both men remain on their feet and defend themselves at all times.

In MMA there's a lot of rolling around on the floor like a couple of Kansas city faggots. As compelling as watching two men attempting to breath is, it's not really my thing. As my Tae Kwon Do friend pointed out, MMA is in many ways the least realistic fight, as if you were rolling around like that in an actual fight you'd be vulnerable to your opponent's allies strolling up and kicking you in the head.

But with fighters like Froch, Pacquiao, Haye and any Mexican light/welterweight there are still plenty of good fights to be made.

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