Sam Peter Has An Outside Chance
If this fight goes the distance, you might want to consult the authorities, demand an inquiry and check the record book to see if there is an asterisk next to the names and date telling you the whole ugly affair is still under investigation.
How do two guys with bone-rattling power both survive 12 rounds of devastating punches? Luck, I guess. Luck and maybe a couple of chins carved out of marble.
Sure, it went the full 12 rounds the first time these two fought back in September 2005, but that was different. They were different. Wladimir Klitschko says he “didn’t have so much knowledge about the sport of boxing like he has today,“ and Samuel Peter didn’t have Abel Sanchez, who trainer Emanuel Steward calls “one of the few trainers I really respect.
But Steward says it will still be a short night.
“In terms of one punch power and accuracy, I see a knockout, said Steward, who is training Klitsch (54-3, 48 KOs) in Austria for his Sept. 11 title defense against Peter (34-3, 27 KOs) in Frankfurt, Germany. “I can’t see it going much more than five or six rounds, and that’s stretching it.
As much as he likes and respects Peter, Steward says Klitschko, the IBF/WBO heavyweight champion, is the most devastating one-punch fighter he has ever worked with, and that includes Lennox Lewis.
“Wladimir is one of the few fighters I’ve trained - and I have trained many punchers - that can turn off the light switch in the middle of a big party without doing the dimmer switch first, Steward explained on a conference call. “He has the power to knock out anyone with one punch using either hand, the left (hook) even more than the right.
Knocking Peter out would be a pretty good trick. The “Nigerian Nightmare has been stopped, but never counted out. The only fight he lost that ended early was against Vitali Klitschko in October 2008 when he didn’t answer the bell for the ninth round..
“He just quit because of frustration in addition to being whacked around by Vitali, Steward said.
But the Sam Peter who stopped Nagy Aguilera in March isn’t the same guy who lost to Vitali and Eddie Chambers in late 2008 and early 2009. And that secret hasn’t slipped past Wladimir.
“I’m expecting him to be at least as determined as he was five yeas ago, said Wladimir, who was knocked down three times by Peter but still managed to win a decision. “And he’s probably even technically better because now he’s trying to box and do different things. I’m expecting Sam to be a more experienced fighter. And experience you can’t buy in a shop. You have to get it through the fights. I think he’ll be better than he was against Vitali.
Steward says Peter is the most dangerous opponent Vladimir has fought in five years, or since that first fight with Peter.
“The rest of the guys we fought, we never had to really worry about punching power, he said. “Sam Peter is a puncher.
True punchers are gifted and rare. But getting two of them together in the same ring is like herding cats. When it happens, people stop what they’re doing and pay attention. They set down their work tools, find comfortable chairs and ask not to be disturbed for at least an hour. This is big stuff.
That’s why they expect more than 40,000 fight fans to shuffle into the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt for the fight.
That’s why they will show a replay of the fight on Sept. 12 on ESPN.
That‘s why this fight can restore a little balance to a sport teetering on the edge.
“This is an exciting fight to me because it’s one of the few times you have punchers, Steward said. “And the biggest problem in boxing today is that nobody knocks anybody out.
That’s what makes this fight, the potential for a knockout on either side. It‘s what the heavyweight division is about.
Klitschko says he was surprised by Peter in their first fight. He won’t be surprised this time.
“Sam was taking a lot of shots and a lot of hard punches and I was wondering how this man can stand (up to it), Klitschko said. “Both my hands were swollen after the fight. I couldn’t believe how much punishment this man took. But he kept coming, he was so determined. But I never had doubt in myself.
While Klitschko is favored to win, Peter has that outside chance all big punchers have.
“Sam Peter looks like he’s in the best shape of his life,“ said legendary matchmaker Johnny Bos. “He’s already proven he can hurt (Klitschko). If he can apply pressure and keep that pace…
It might even go the distance.