Klitschko pumels Peter, has no rivals outside his family
The fans already are clamoring again for Wladimir Klitschko to fight Davie Haye. If not Haye, the undersized but respected Tomsaz Adamek is seen as a worthy challenger.
The problem is this, though: No one outside Klitschko’s family is going to give him much of a fight. Sad but true.
Sam Peter came to fight on Saturday in Frankfurt. The former titleholder had trimmed down to a good fighting weight and had won three fights – albeit against inferior opponents – since his back-to-back losses to Vitali Klitschko and Eddie Chambers.
The spirit with which he fought in the first few rounds against Wladmir Klitschko was indicative of a confident, well-prepared challenger.
Didn’t matter. Klitschko, using his perfectly tuned fighting system, demonstrated very early that this wasn’t going to be a repeat of their meeting 2005, in which the big Ukrainian went down three times but won a unanimous decision.
This time, THE RING champion quickly reduced a determined opponent into a pathetic punching bag, controlling the fight with his jab and hard, accurate rights while avoiding any significant punishment. His face was clean in the end.
Klitschko (55-3, 49 knockouts) even gave us a spectacular ending, attacking his wounded and demoralized prey with unusual ferocity and being rewarded with a 10th-round knockout that left Peter flat on his back and thrilled the live audience in Germany.
Klitschko’s performance was as dominating as any his increasingly amazing career.
Haye, the eloquent former cruiserweight champion, might do a little better than Peter. The Briton is a better athlete than Peter and also has some power, although he’s not the puncher he was at 200 pounds.
And Adamek, who has held light heavyweight and cruiserweight titles, is as tough as any man on the planet and has vast experience.
Their fate would be similar to that of Peter, though. Klitschko’s underrated boxing ability and crushing power, which allows him to land hard punches yet avoid punishment, as well as his size would be too much for two relatively small heavyweights.
Peter (34-4, 27 KOs) can take a pretty good punch, as he showed on Saturday. Imagine what would happen if Klitschko landed a perfect right or left hook on Haye’s chin. (Wince.) Adamek, too, can take a punch but he would undoubtedly wilt after eating enough of Klitschko serves up.
Haye and Adamek? Knockout and knockout.
And beyond them is a vacuum. No other heavyweight would be given even the smallest chance of beating the reigning heavyweight king, who has won 12 consecutive fights and has rarely been tested. The same is probably true of Vitali Klitschko, although one must assume that age will take a toll on him at some point.
“No one is going to beat these guys,” said cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham, who plans to become a heavyweight. “We’ll have to wait for them to retire.”
Things would be different if there were fighters like Muhammad Ali or Larry Holmes or Mike Tyson or even Lennox Lewis around. Ali, Holmes and Lewis would be favored to beat Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson would’ve made for one hell of a show.
Alas, we’re stuck with a barren heavyweight landscape. All we can do is admire Klitschko’s utter dominance and wait for him to get old.
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]