Saturday’s WBC heavyweight championship between Samuel Peter (30-1, 23 KOs) and Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) is one of the most anticipated heavyweight tussles in recent memory. OK, fight fans aren’t breathless as they count down the days, but still, we take what we can get in this day and age, the Bronze Age of heavyweight boxing.
The fight will be shown on same-day tape delay from the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany, before the Antonio Tarver-Chad Dawson IBF Light Heavyweight Championship live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) on Showtime, which continues to offer programming that is superior to HBO’s. Here’s a sampling of prediction from notable fighters and pundits.
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO – IBF/WBO Heavyweight Champion
"Vitali will make history on October 11th. On that day we will become the first two brothers ever to be heavyweight champions at the same time. We've been dreaming about it so much, for so long and on October 11th it will become a reality."
"Peter, just like other heavyweights, is able to punch hard and I think that Vitali knows this and will knock Peter out before anything else can happen."
"Vitali's last opponent, Danny Williams, was the same size and style as Peter and Vitali was exceptional against him. I expect the same from Vitali when he faces Peter."
STEVE ALBERT – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Announcer
"There is so much on the line for both fighters. Sam Peter has to beat Vitali Klitschko to get a rematch with Vitali's younger brother, Wladimir for a chance to prove he's the premier heavyweight in the world.
“After a four-plus-year layoff, Vitali Klitschko wants to resurrect his career and fulfill his dream of joining Wladimir as the only siblings in boxing history to hold world heavyweight titles simultaneously. Given the current state of the heavyweight division, Peter vs. Vladimir Klitschko could be the most compelling heavyweight matchup in years."
JAMES TONEY - Three-Time World Champion
“It means that we get rid of one of the Klitschko sisters who don’t deserve to be in this fight and it gets me closer to evening the score with the big ugly Samuel Peter.”
“I predict that Peter will win by KO. He is too strong and has learned too much fighting me to lose to a big sissy like Vitali Klitschko, who has been off for way too long.”
CHRIS BYRD – Two-Time World Heavyweight Champion
“It’s a huge fight for the heavyweight division and for boxing. We could potentially have brothers simultaneously holding pieces of the world heavyweight title, making them the most dominant brothers in the history of the sport. Who is going to beat them?”
“Now, normally, I would have to go with Vitali Klitschko in this fight. He’s taller, and more importantly, he is mentally tougher than Samuel Peter. He’s even more mentally tough than Wladimir. And don’t forget, he punches pretty impressively too.”
“However, I’ve got to go with the guy who has been active. The time off, the bad back… the time off is the biggest thing for Wladimir to overcome. Another concern is to go right into a title fight against one of the best out there after a long layoff.”
“Style wise, Vitali Klitschko has the edge by far with his height and reach. The Klitschkos are tough to beat. If Vitali uses his height and reach well, and if he can keep that going for as long as it lasts, Peter is going to have a tough time. It should be a great fight either way.”
OLEG MASKAEV – Former WBC Heavyweight Champion
“I have been in ring with both Klitschko and Peter. I was in the ring against Klitschko as an amateur, and I fought Peter in March. … It’s a real interesting fight and certainly a significant one for the heavyweight division.”
“When it comes to Vitali, one of the biggest challenges is inactivity. I would like nothing better than to get back into the ring with Peter. Klitschko is more experienced, but Peter is active. The question is how Klitschko will come out of camp. If he can overcome the rust, then he will win. Overall, as long as he can overcome the time off, I give the edge to Klitschko.”
AL BERNSTEIN - SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Announcer
“The heavyweight division is in need of compelling match-ups and fighters that will excite the fans. Because of his punching power, Samuel Peter remains a candidate to do that. His rivalry with the Klitschkos continues. The intrigue of Vitali now fighting Peter, after his brother had a strong match with him, adds spice to this match-up. We are all wondering if Vitali can perform up to his previous level after this long layoff. It all makes for a very interesting night of heavyweight boxing."
DINO DUVA – Samuel Peter’s Promoter
"The Samuel Peter-Vitali Klitschko fight is very significant for several reasons. This is the most crucial fight to determine if a true heavyweight title unification bout can take place in the foreseeable future. If Peter wins, this unification is very possible, and will set up the biggest fight in the heavyweight division in a long time with a rematch against Wladimir Klitschko. If that happens, it will allow the heavyweight division to regain much of its lost prominence. And, if Klitschko wins, it will be very unique and historic, and will be the first time ever that two brothers are heavyweight champions at the same time."
"Because of the styles, this bout will not go the distance and will be a great brawl. I can see both fighters going down. The strongest fighter and the one with the most heart will survive."
STEVE FARHOOD – ShoBox Expert Analyst
“Peter-Klitschko is among the most intriguing fights of the year for three reasons: 1) It is critical to the present and future of the heavyweight division. 2) It is a battle of big punchers with very different styles, and 3) It is virtually impossible to predict what's going to happen.”
“Both fighters have the ability to score one-punch knockouts, but Klitschko’s four-year layoff is the X-factor. If Klitschko was active and in his prime, I'd pick him to win. But can he survive a long and draining fight? I'll go with Peter. Besides, if Vitali wins, he'll never fight his brother, greatly reducing the chances of a unified title.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV