Whether desired or not heavyweights such as Wladimir Klitschko dictate the state of boxing with their ponderous movement like human dinosaurs.
Slow, methodical and careful to the point of distraction, heavyweights can cause pain to the eye of the viewer.
Yet, one asset heavyweights possess in abundance is jaw-breaking power.
It’s power plus when Klitschko (48-3, 43 KOs) defends his IBF heavyweight title against Lamon Brewster who owns a knockout victory over the champion. They meet on Saturday July 7, at Koln, Germany. The title fight will be televised in the afternoon on HBO.
“Both fighters possess tremendous power,” said Emanuel Steward who trains Klitschko and knows a thing or two about knockout punchers.
Brewster, 34, a mild-mannered and square-shouldered boxer from the Midwest, stands ready like a human rock to prove to the boxing world that his tenure as world champion has another chapter to unfold. All he desires is a chance to put his mitts on his former foe.
“I’m the kind of fighter that doesn’t like to go in the ring with any premeditations,” said Brewster (33-3, 29 KOs) who stopped Klitschko in their first meeting three years ago in Las Vegas. “I feel I will be victorious.”
The state of boxing has changed its regional complexion for the heavyweight division with all four major titleholders coming from Eastern Europe including. Klitschko. During the last three years fighters from Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have all emerged with more technical proficiency and superb work habits to wrest control of the heavyweight division.
It’s no longer a birthright for American heavyweights to hold the heavyweight world title. But American boxing fans still reign as the best in the world and have shown a willingness to shell out money for a good fight.
Klitschko, 31, knows this and was more than willing to walk back into the ring against the most dangerous of the American heavyweights.
“Right now none of the other champions are very exciting for me,” said Klitschko who had desired a match against the seven-foot former WBA titleholder Nicolai Valuev who lost against Ruslan Chagaev by decision. “Lamon Brewster is more exciting than any of the champions right now.”
The boxing world awaits a true heavyweight champion to build its allegiance toward. Not since Lennox Lewis has a heavyweight dominated fanfare. European heavyweights find it more difficult to entice American fans, but Klitschko comes close. The Ukrainian boxer could be the European that leaps the Atlantic Ocean and grabs American consciousness.
From John L. Sullivan to Muhammad Ali no European has managed to build a fan base on American shores with the exception of Lewis. Max Schmeling, Ingemar Johansson, and Vitali Klitschko (Wladimir’s older brother) could not build the bridge.
“People are looking for exciting fights,” Klitschko said during a telephone press conference call. “Some times titles don’t mean much but names do.”
That’s why Klitschko has chosen his former conqueror Brewster.
“It’s just going to create appeal for the heavyweights,” said Klitschko, who was knocked out Brewster for the WBO title. “It’s just a matter of time.”
The fight airs early Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. because of the drastic time difference.
Showtime fight card
WBA junior middleweight titleholder Travis Simms and IBF flyweight titleholder Vic Darchinyan defend their world titles on Saturday July 7, at Bridgeport, Conn.
Darchinyan, 31, an Armenian boxer fighting out of Australia, returns to the ring after hospitalizing a challenger with a brutal pummeling last March at the Home Depot Center. His opponent that night Victor Burgos of Mexico was in a hospital fighting for his life with head injuries for more than a month.
“After my last fight it was very hard because my opponent was hurt very bad,” said Darchinyan (28-0, 22 KOs). “He was in a coma in the hospital. Thank God everything passed.”
Now Darchinyan faces Nonito Donaire the younger brother of one of his former opponent Glenn Donaire. He’s bigger and faster.
“The guys that he (Darchinyan) fought they were very small,” explained Donaire (17-1, 10 KOs). “That is why he can bully them.”
Donaire, 24, is a natural junior bantamweight who is dropping down in weight to contend for the IBF title at 112 pounds. He feels his brother’s style and size made him vulnerable to the Armenian bomber.
“My brother is a lot smaller than I am and he is a brawler,” Donaire said who is one inch taller than his brother. “We are completely opposite in fighting styles.”
Also defending his world title is Simms (25-0, 19 KOs) who will be fighting in his hometown on the fight card that will be televised by Showtime.
Simms, 36, regained the WBA title with a dominating performance over Jose Antonio Rivera last January. He faces Canada’s Joachim Alcine a slick boxer-puncher who can also dish out the insults too.
“You better start running my friend, in he ring,” said Alcine, 31, with his French accent. “You are a funny man.”
Simms seemed extremely miffed by Alcine’s irreverent comments.
“I am a two-time undefeated world champion,” Simms declared angrily. “You fought nobody! Nobody!”
Alcine seemed amused by Simms anger.
“You will not be (champion) any more,” Alcine said calmly. “Enjoy it now because there will not be any more belt for you because it is going to be mine.”
In another world title bout, Nicaragua’s Luis Perez (24-1, 15 KOs) is moving up in weight and will attempt to win the vacant bantamweight title against Mexico’s Genaro Garcia. Perez is the former IBF junior bantamweight titleholder. This is Garcia’s second attempt at a world title. He lost his first title bid against Japan’s Hozumi Hasegawa last November by unanimous decision in Tokyo.
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN, 7 p.m., Nate Campbell (30-5-1) vs. Wilson Alcorro (35-7-3).
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Vicente Escobedo (13-1) vs. Carlos Diaz (9-9-4).
Sat. HBO, 2 p.m. Wladimir Klitschko (48-3) vs. Lamon Brewster (33-3).