Dismay can have a way of spurring an excess of optimism, because one tends to overestimate the possibility of change, overvalue the potential for a potential agent for change to rise above their station, and change the dynamic.
Sorry for that physchological semi mish-mash, but what I'm getting at is this: on Saturday afternoon, more than a few people found themselves, while watching the dreadful watlz between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin, and Klitschko's obsessive clinching of his foe, thinking about Deontay Wilder.
Wilder is a long limbed 27-year-old Alabama resident with a 29-0 record, with all those wins coming via stoppage. To be sure, not one of his foes possesses more than 70% of the talent Wladimir does. (And let me get out of the way, I do indeed see Wladimir as a premier talent…it's simply the way he went about his business, with dubious tactics versus Povetkin, which I object to so vehemently). But the Golden Boy boxer Wilder, who next gloves up against steppingstone Nic Firtha Oct. 26 on the Bernard Hopkins undercard in AC, owns an explosivity, and one or two traits which lead some of us to wonder if maybe he could be the man with the plan, and the skills, to break the Klitschko chokehold in the heavyweight division.
With that in mind, I asked Wilders' trainer, Brooklyn's Mark Breland, the former all-world amateur and former welterweight champion, if Wilder has the stuff to down a Klitschko.
“I think so, he's young and up 'n' coming, and I think it's time the belt changes over to the United States,” Breland, age 50, told me. “I wouldn't say this year, I would give it like maybe next year some time. Wladimir has a good jab, you got to outjab him, he's good at keeping you at bay, Deontay has to be much faster than him, and catch him on the chin, a good right hand on the chin, he's gone.”
Breland said you have to back Wlad up, take his jab away from him. Povetkin, he said, “just stood there, didn't do anything. Tried to fight him on the inside, but he just kept grabbing him.”
Check back in about a year and a half and, “It'll be a good fight,” he said, in closing.
By the way, I'm trying to get a response from Wladimir about the reaction to his clinching against Povetkin, and am hoping I will hear back.
Kalle Sauerland, who promotes Povetkin, talked to me about the bout and Wlad's tactics. “Wladimir should not have been able to use those tactics which are clearly against boxing rules and were expressly pointed out at the rules meeting to the referee,” he said. “This was acknowledged at the time. This is the only chance a smaller man has, is to use speed and fight on the inside. Every time Povetkin landed the lead, he was held, and pushed down. Klitschko boxed very well on the outside and it is a shame the fans will not appreciate that beautiful part of his game which was overshadowed by the horrible fight tactics. However, at the end of the day the referee must take the blame for not acting early, and taking points. It does not help to take a point in round eleven, for pushing. The Povetkin corner, along with 14,000 others (in the arena) yelled during the fight to take points!”
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