He may not be the most skillful or stylish boxer in the world. He may not have the biggest punch in the heavyweight division or the hardest chin. In fact, on close evaluation he doesn’t have a hell of a lot in his toolbox at all, yet Vitali Klitschko is the best current heavyweight world champion out there.
Who can forget the heavyweight yawn featuring the other pretenders to the throne Don King put on a few months ago. Let’s be honest, the main claim to Klitschko’s current fame is the way he dismantled Lennox Lewis last year. No matter what the Lewis groupies say, Klitschko was beating Lewis when the fight was stopped and had that fight continued I have no doubt he would have knocked Lewis out.
That doesn’t mean Klitschko is greater than Lewis, he was merely better than him in the latter stages of his career—remembering Lewis was already on pension when he eventually accepted that fight. When Klitschko won the WBC world title against Corrie Sanders, he faced a man that is faster, hits harder and has a wider repertoire of punches, yet he was able to nullify all of those elements and manipulate him into a veritable punch bag.
Taking all of the above in consideration, what makes Vitali Klitschko a successful world champion? The answer comes down to 5 key elements every champion needs if he is to remain on his throne. They are: discipline, heart, determination, support and a dream. Klitschko has all of those and it will take a man with more determination, discipline and vision to beat him.
While I am sure Danny Williams has a dream and the determination to upset the champion, I’m not convinced that he has the discipline. I’m not talking about the discipline of getting up and doing your roadwork, I’m talking about the discipline of holding onto the dream, of working through all the outside factors which influence boxer’s emotions before they climb into the ring.
Vitali Klitschko checks his emotions at the dressing room door, can Williams do the same? This is the big night for Williams, the night he has dreamed of since he first laced on a boxing glove as a young boy. The key question to realizing his dream is whether it was his biggest hope to win the heavyweight championship of the world, or just to fight for it. Was just being there enough, like it was for Sanders, or does he have that extra desire that will see him holding the belt above his head?
My heart hopes he does, but my head says he’s gone in 3!