Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Analyzing Klitschko Vs. Thompson

On Saturday July 12th, 2008 there was a heavyweight title match between WBO/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir "Steelhammer" Klitschko and WBO #1 mandatory challenger Tony "The Tiger" Thompson. Even though Wladimir won the fight via 11th round KO, there seems to be mixed reviews on his performance during this fight, and his value as a boxer. So, I decided to voice my own opinion of what I thought of the match, and Wladimir Klitschko's recent performances.

1st of all I want to point out that it's always tricky to face a southpaw. You may have experience if you fight a few, which Wladimir has, but the number of southpaws one faces never comes close to the number of orthodox fighters one faces so there's going to be that element of awkwardness. This is the 2nd fight in a row where Wladimir has faced a southpaw, because back in February 23rd of this year Wlad faced Sultan Ibragimov and defeated him via a 12 round decision to pick up the IBF strap. So the results of his last 2 efforts might be deceiving to the public eye because he's faced 2 men in a row that would give any fighter that element of awkwardness. In fact, there have been great fighters in the past who purposely kept away from southpaws for that reason.

The second thing I want to state is that Thompson himself is not only a southpaw boxer but also has other characteristics that Klitschko isn't used to. Those characteristics include a man who is very close in height and weight(actually weighed more than Wlad), and who had a greater reach than Wladimir. So the physical characteristics combined with his awkward southpaw stance is something that takes any fighter a little while to adapt to.

I believe in both the Ibragimov and Thompson fights, although more in the Ibragimov fight, Wladimir faced opponents who at times seemed to be defensive minded. Whenever someone sits back and their sole thinking process is what they can do to prevent you from hurting them, it's alot harder to hurt them than if they are leaving themselves open at times because they themselves are looking to land. Thompson did start the fight out fairly aggressive though, but cooled down after a few. In the 11th round, Thompson was leaving himself open more, although this was also due to his fatigue as well as increasing his aggression, which lead Wladimir to his right hand knockout victory.

I think Wladimir showed in this fight a lot more of his punch arsonol and strategy than he has in his past. He showed some good body shots, which he does quite well(work on this Wlad people are expecting you to be a head hunter and you land good punches to the body), the ability to adapt whenever his jab isn't working as well as he likes, and uppercuts. I only mention these improvements because some people think Wladimir is regressing by not knocking out Thompson/Ibragimov early.

In conclusion, I think Wladimir is improving as a boxer under Emanuel Steward. The only thing that I could see that Wladimir could work on is the ability to pick up his aggression early on fighters whom he knows has a very slim chance of knocking him out, and also working on his body punching. If his opponents in the future have to worry about whether he's going to start out fast or not, and whether they're going to get hit to the body or head at anytime, this would make his ability to make a more impressive victory in the future easier.

As an added note, I believe that whenever Wladimir signs a deal to fight the orthodox, shorter, and highly regarded Povetkin, people are going to be surprised how easy Wladimir lands punches at will and takes this guy out early. It's going to be like wearing ankle weights for two races and then taking them off for the 3rd (In reference to going from 2 southpaws to an orthodox fighter). My prediction is Wladimir will KO Povetkin within 4 rounds. He should have nothing to fear from this guy. Povetkin wins fights by his aggression not by his impressive 1 punch knockout power-- he couldn't knock out Chris Byrd(fight was stopped by his corner)**ok bad example Klitschko didn't ko him either the 1st fight** nor Chambers, and is a sucker for the right hand. **In other words, I believe Povetkin's power is cumulative whereas Wlad's can be in just one punch. especially in fighting at a higher level...**

Good luck to Wladimir and Vitali on chasing their dream to become the 1st heavyweight brothers to hold championships at the same time!

** these are later additions to the post

No comments:

Post a Comment

Other Klitschko News....

Popular Posts