Pathetic. That is the best word to describe Samuel Peter’s showing against Vitali Klitschko in Berlin. But you could go with sad. Or disgraceful, those would work too. After eight lopsided rounds, Peter, his eyes swollen, sat in his corner, and told his trainer and the officials that he didn’t want to continue. Peter quit, and unless there is a clear medical reason for him doing so, this performance leaves a black mark on his legacy that cannot be erased.
Peter brought a 30-1 (23 KOs) record in with him, while the WBC champion emeritus Vitali had a 35-2, 34 KOs mark coming in. Klitschko now holds the WBC belt, and his showing was almost as exemplary as Peter’s was woeful. He was sharp, his stamina was superb, and he now stands as the top heavyweight in the world, a step above his little brother Wladimir.
Peter weighed 253 1/2 pounds for the bout, and sent a message standing on the scale that he dind't take this bout as seriouslty as he should have, and that all the hype from his people over the last several years was simply so much BS. Vitali weighed 247 pounds, or tthree pounds less than when he last gloved up for real, against Danny Williams in Decmber 2004. His fitness sent a clear message, that he took this task seriously, and trained like it. I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Peter trainer Stacy McKinley washing his hands of the fighter after this effort.
In the first, the 6-7 Vitali looked ready to rock from the start. He knocked Peter off balance three times, not bad for someone who hadn’t fought in 1,400 days. His right cross was effective, and Peter didn’t get a jab untracked, and looked tight. In the second, Peter was still sluggish. His reach disadvantage was noticeable. In the third, the distance closed, which looked like it would benefit the Nigerian. Vitali’s hands were now at his hips, but Peter didn’t take advantage. Vitali led 3-0 on the TSS card.
In the fourth, V moved smartly, and the portly Peter didn’t cut him off effectively. V was fighting the smart fight, not too showy, but simply staying on message. Was Peter’s corner laying into him? One would hope so, because Peter’s showing to this point was incredibly disappointing. He was listless, and losing 4-0, on our card and on the judges’ cards, as open scoring was being used. In round five, Peter ate lead rights, and counter rights. His left eye was swollen, and he was getting picked apart in embarrassing fashion. A viewer had to wonder if Vitali would pull of a complete game shutout. “The guy’s picking you apart. You have to go out there and get rough. You can’t stay on the end of his punches,” said Peter’s trainer McKinley, with more than a hint of annoyance in his voice.
In round six, Peter started jabbing to the body. But he had trouble touching the redwood in front of him, who stood a good six inches taller than he. Another round lost for Peter.
In round seven, Peter’s eyes were both swollen. It got worse as the round wore on; he ate jabs, repeatedly. The crowd applauded tepidly after the round. This was no barnburner, and most of the blame lay with the desultory Peter. In the eighth, Vitali’s energy was still admirably high. He was so relaxed as he pecked away. At 37, this was a far better showing than even he could’ve hoped for. After the bout, he was barely breathing heavy as he spoke to Showtime's Steve Farhood, and expressed his joy.
Dino Duva, Peter's promoter, said the corner stopped the fight and that his man is a "warrior" who "could've and would've" finished the contest. "It wasn't his night," Duva said. Sorry Dino, even if McKinley said he wanted to pull the plug, it was up to Peter, and he quit. This No Mas moment cannot be explained away, or spun like you're a political hack. I'm not buying it, and the knowledgable fans at TSS aren't either.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV