Live Saturday night from Madison Square Garden in New York City (HBO), Wladimir Klitschko, aka Dr. Steelhammer, defends his IBF heavyweight crown against the hard-punching Boxing Banker from Charlotte, North Carolina, Calvin Brock. It looks like Klitschko's got the goods with his size, power, experience and cornerman, but Brock is a fine defensive fighter with power to spare and a sturdy, solid chin. Chances are someone’s going down in this bout that may not go the distance, but we won’t know for sure until Saturday. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Wladimir Klitschko vs. Calvin Brock.
I still don't understand this preoccupation with Wladimir Klitschko. He's been knocked out by a couple of journeymen (one who held the WBO title), beat up a fighter in Chris Byrd who was so far past his prime, it was a crime for him to be in the ring with Klitschko in the first place, and barely defeated Samuel Peter while tasting the canvas in a scared, not-very-good effort, and here is being touted as the future of the heavyweight division. Why is this? iI it because he's white? Can punch? And wants to save the world with his charitable efforts? Please, Calvin (tap dancing) Brock, beat this guy so we can move on and root for a real champion like Shannon Briggs. (That was a joke.) Brock by third round knockout.
This has the potential to be a very good fight. Two hungry fighters looking to prove a point always make for a good scrap. Both guys could go down (Klitschko more than Brock), and both will be hurt. In the end, Wladimir has too much size and ability for the Boxing Banker. Klitschko by UD. And look for this fight to lift a sagging division.
Brock hasn't beaten any fighter of note, with the exception of Jameel McCline. Klitschko has more experience in double the number of fights yet seems to have an inclination towards getting stopped when least expected. Klitschko should win but expect it to be closer than first expected with the possibility of an upset. My head says Klitschko but my gut is going with Brock by stoppage.
Peter M. Carvill
Wladimir Klitschko has more experience than Calvin Brock and the power to stop him. Brock is determined to make it big, but so is the champion. Wladimir wants to have a long reign and unify the major belts. A fight with WBA king Nicolay Valuev would get Klitschko the biggest purse of his career and he cannot afford to lose this chance. On the other hand, Klitschko lost to average boxers Ross Puritty (TKO 11), Corrie Sanders (TKO 2) and Lamon Brewster (TKO 5). It’s obvious that Wladimir cannot take a punch. As a matter of fact, when he won decisively he was never in danger. He is not the kind of fighter who gets hit dozens of times, hits back and scores a KO. Calvin Brock’s record is 29-0 and he won 22 times within the distance. Brock could put the champion to sleep, but I think that Emmanuel Steward has studied a way to neutralize Brock’s strengths. I say Klitschko on points.
Luca De Franco
Calvin Brock had his hands full with Timor Abragimov last June. On Saturday, he'll more than have his hands full with yet another boxing brother act. Wladimir Klitschko's jab will run him ragged and his thunderous right will punish him. Wlad will wear him down and stop him in the 10th round.
This is a check the Boxing Banker will have a hard time cashing. Wlad by late stoppage. The co-main event deserves a comment or two, although the powers-that-be at HBO decided (dictated) not to televise Laila Ali/Shelley Burton. Shelley Burton is a tough competitor, with a never-say-die attitude and a great friend. The “Montana Tough Woman,” as she's been called, is no pushover for “She Bee Stingin,” so those on hand that get to see this fight should expect a battle. Shelly Burton will not quit, give up or stop in her effort in the greatest fight of her career. Laila will have her hands full.
Looking at this matchup, the fight would seem to be Klitschko's for the taking, and I say this because Wladimir has tended to get into trouble when he's been forced to fight instead of box, forced to endure and absorb in order to land and punish. Making pier-sixers has never been the stock and trade of “The Boxing Banker” with Brock tending toward being a jabber, loosely technical, generally meaning to disengage the fire power of his opponents, thus outpointing them, ever alert for opportunities to cash in early. If that accurately reflects the general accounting to be negotiated between these two stalkers from a distance then Klitschko, playing the bigger man, the leveraging partner, should win from the outside, depositing right hands when he can. Brock will have to look for the homerun counter, perhaps the left hook, to secure the upset. This one looks like a twelve-rounder to me, some puffy eyelids and some decent, though only intermittent, exchanges throughout. Klitschko W12 Brock.
Brock might be undefeated, but there’s little on his resume to suggest that he even belongs in the same ring with Dr. Steelhammer. On the other hand, one might have made the same observation going into Klitschko’s fights against Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders, and Lamon Brewster, all of whom whipped the Ukrainian. (And don’t even mention Samuel Peter, who knocked Klitschko down three times in an otherwise undistinguished performance.) Another point to ponder: It may not be particularly significant, but it’s at least interesting to note that while Klitschko will be fighting as a pro for the 50th time in this one, he’s actually the younger of the two. Wladimir appears to be holding as a 4-1 favorite at the sports books. He should win, but if we were going to bet this fight (which we are not), at the risk of offending UNESCO we’d take a flyer on Brock.
Brock is as steady as they come, but he has never faced the type of firepower Klitschko is going to provide on Saturday evening. Klitschko will be too big, too strong, and too skilled for the “Boxing Banker.” Klitschko TKO 10.
Hopefully this fight won't piss away the time like Liakhovich-Briggs did. My guess is Klitschko and Brock won't play patty cakes like Liakhovich and Briggs. Two stinkers in a row won't exactly appease the boxing Gods, but for some reason I smell a knockout and a modicum of excitement – and this time the excitement will come earlier than with one second left in the fight. There's a title at stake and Brock could bring the score to 2-2 in the war between the Russkies and the U.S. but I wouldn't count on it. What will be interesting is who can take whose punch. A good big man beats a good smaller man – Klitschko via 8th round TKO.
Brock has had so many opportunities to shine – on both NBC and HBO – but has yet to do so. He did score a sensational knockout over Zuri Lawrence on a pay-per-view show, but Lawrence had not scored even one knockout in 20 wins so he posed no real threat. Although Klitschko's chin is questionable, Brock is not the guy to test it. Klitschko will keep him at the end of his ramrod jab and probably stop with a right hand him late in the fight. Klitschko KO 9
Wladimir Klitschko is the most fitting successor to the long abdicated Lennox Lewis, given his physicality, articulation and fluctuating fortunes at the hands of big punchers. And he can fight, offensively at least. He lacks the media magnetism of Briggs or Toney but probably represents the most rounded hope of emerging from the debris of the post Lewis, Tyson and Holyfield era. But without leaning too heavy on the past or cliché, he gives a puncher a chance. He doesn't employ his height and reach to the effect his elder sibling did. Vitali could maintain a chasm of distance between his chin and the opponent, holding his head high and leaning back. Wladimir doesn't hold a shot like him either, as Sanders and Brewster proved. However, to bring that form-line into this fight is hard to justify – Brock isn't the world-class puncher either Brewster or Sanders were. And Klitschko is a big puncher, with good coordination for a tall fighter. I actually think this could represent a really emerging performance. With Briggs looking very beatable as the custodian of the WBO belt, the chinny veteran Maskaev clutching the prestigious WBC belt – unifying three of the belts looks distinctly achievable. A crushing stoppage victory would further distance Wladimir from the mediocre prospects, fossilized contenders and vulnerable fellow champions. I expect him to score one. Klitschko KO6. (But by way of cheap caveat; Brock is an unbeaten heavyweight against a guy with two stoppage defeats on his record. So don't bet the house on the favorite.)
I believe that if Brock can stay around, Klitschko's lack of stamina will kick in, and Brock will win. It would not be an upset. With today's crop of heavyweight champions, upsets are not possible.
After last weekend's heavyweight extravaganza, the bar has been set even lower (if that's possible) in terms of expectations of heavyweight title fights. Whoever wins, let's just hope we don't have to endure yet another slow-motion spectacle. Klitschko needs a strong performance to prove his merit that he's the best out there, while Brock gets his shot at glory and better make it good. He says God set it up this way for a reason, well God might not set it up again if he stinks up the place. Brock does have some pop though and remember it hasn't taken much in the past to rock Klitschko. If he can hurt him early, take him out of his rhythm, and get into the later rounds where Klitschko's been known to tire, you could see another American grabbing hold of the crown. That said, I like Klitschko by early KO simply because I think Brock's intimidated and will buckle under pressure.
Calvin Brock is not a glutton for punishment, but this bout will come to down to the durability of his chin. If he can weather Wladimir Klitschko’s early attacks, he will eventually break through and do damage of his own. Brock is also a crafty enough fighter to win rounds without relying on knockdown bombs. He will put Klitschko on the canvas at least once on his way to a decision. Brock by decision.
By the time our great readers get to this point on the predictions list you've already processed more quality analysis and formulated more intelligent conclusions than I can add any insight to regarding Klitschko and Brock, except to say that despite Wladimir's obvious edge in strength and previous opposition plus big spotlight experience my sizeable gut feeling tells me Brock is going to show up strong and make by far his best showing yet.