TheSweetScience.com writers weigh in on whether Wladimir Klitschko can put his recent problems behind him when he faces Eliseo Castillo.
Klitschko struggles with Castillo, winning a split decision.
HBO will show Wladimir Klitschko facing off against Eliseo Castillo. I've always contended that Wladimir was a better all-around fighter than his brother Vitali. What Wladimir lacks that his big brother has is a better chin. Castillo is no cream puff, but if Wlad is still the fighter I think he can be, he should win this one.
Wlad finds out early that Castillo couldn't crush a grape in a fruit fight. This will prompt Wlad to be secure in reverting back to old form – an all-out offensive machine. One of two things happens: Castillo will eventually get knocked out, or he shuts down Klitschko’s offense and fights safety first in order to survive. I'm going with the latter. Klitschko by unanimous decision.
Is Klitschko shot? This is a question that will be asked no matter how many more fights he has. Castillo is an earnest campaigner. He’s tough and workmanlike. He’s also not a huge banger. Klitschko will likely sport a 25-pound weight advantage to go along with advantages in height and reach. Klitschko is bigger, faster, and hits much harder. Castillo will hang in there with the hope Klitschko folds. It won’t happen on this night. Klitschko by KO in 3.
Castillo is a good, durable fighter, but the deck is stacked in Klitschko's favor. Too many advantages for Klitschko – and he needs them – but against Castillo he should prevail. Wladimir Klitschko over Eliseo Castillo via unanimous decision.
Klitschko hasn't been in a fight past five rounds in any of his past five bouts and likely won't go past that here. On two of those five occasions he was on the losing end but that doesn't seem likely here. Castillo is a blown up cruiserweight and likely won't be able to handle WK's power. Obviously the book on this Klitschko is to take him deep into fights, but Castillo gives up too much in height and weight to be able to keep Klitschko away. Klitschko by KO before the midway point. Too bad Castillo doesn't have heavyweight power. Then we would have had a fight.
I never thought Wlad was as good as he was hyped. On the other hand, I don't think he's as bad as many are now saying. Don't forget, he whupped a very good Chris Byrd for twelve rounds. Klitschko will be tough to beat in Germany, even against a worthy opponent like Castillo. This fight may have its moments, but Klitschko wins an easy decision.
Castillo is no stiff, but he should be tailor-made for the Ukrainian giant. Klitschko should get back on the knockout track by blasting Castillo out around round five.
One has to wonder if Wladimir Klitschko’s people have not confused Eliseo Castillo, a less-than-skilled Mexican lightweight who won just one fight before retiring in the early 70s, with Eliseo Castillo, the unbeaten Cuban-exile heavyweight fighting out of Miami? But then, perhaps not. Except for an easy decision over portly and badly out of shape Michael Moorer a year ago, Castillo has not defeated anyone you would know unless they lived next door. Castillo has a bad habit of taking a sabbatical between fights: his battle with Moorer, who is living high off the hog as the token ex-champion in a Miccosukee Indian gym in South Florida, was 12 months ago. He rested all of 2003; and for half of 1999, all of 2000, and half of 2001. With all of that, the bottom line is Wladimir sucks. The pick here is Castillo, as woeful as he is, whenever Klitschko runs out of petrol.
Boxing has not been too kind to Wladimir Klitschko since his opponents learned they can have much more success swinging for the fences than trying to go the distance. In two short years, Klitschko has gone from future pay-per-view superstar to the crossroads of HBO’s Boxing After Dark. Saturday night’s bout with Eliseo Castillo is Dr. Steelhammer’s last chance. However, he has too much size, reach, and power to blow it with Castillo. Klitschko by KO in 5.