Klitschko-Chisora: Better Be Better Than Pac Man or Money
|Written by Phil Woolever|
|Friday, 17 February 2012 19:05|
This might be the only blow Chisora lands, if Vitali enters the ring in Munich in a mood to destroy. (Photo courtesy KMG)
FROZEN RINGPOSTS - There should be a lot of added pressure on Vitali Klitschko this Saturday evening in Munich, where the beer is somewhat warm and the air is somewhat frozen, and each can snap your bobbing head back.
For Klitschko, the medicine ball was already in his court to keep the K2 promotional juggernaut rolling. Now after Dereck Chisora's blindside slap at Friday's weigh in, many people will be watching just to see if the supremely composed but obviously fuming Klitschko can and will become the type of wrecking machine that once upon a time made heavyweight boxing special.
There should also be a lot of added pressure on Chisora, who wants a piece of the big paydays pie and looks willing to go to any extreme to get it.
Really though, the added pressure should be on both Klitschko and Chisora not as autonomous opponents but as a performing pair, beyond the single scope of their scheduled 12 rounds. There should be pressure to do everything they can to regain respect for their weight division.
Klitschko - Chisora might be a pretty big fight in this part of civilization, but it isn't really significant to mainstream, present day sporting impact. The fighters and their teams need to aknowledge this. When a guy used to say he'd rather get knocked out than stink out the joint before booing fans, it was the kind of attitude that made boxing a more popular distraction.
This fight should be about more than just Klitschko, Chisora and related bragging rights. This fight should spotlight the entire division, recognizing current inadequacies in relation to the fans.
This fight should announce the return of the giants. The return of blood, sweat, tears and inspiration, XXL sized.
Within the next 30 days, the heavyweights have a chance to regain at least a fair portion of lost glory. That means both Klitschkos, Chisora, Alexander Povetkin, Marco Huck and even generally dismissed long shot Jean Marc Mormeck should feel a sense of obligation to their livelihoods. A recovery mission at all costs.
Financial data on boxing paydays is more hard to come by around here than in the States, but there's no doubt that Klitschko, Chisora and the rest are collecting some pretty good euros, pounds or bucks. Let's hope they earn as much newfound respect.
Style wise, the heavyweight fights should guarantee more splattering sprawls and highlight reel thuds than either Manny Pacquiao against Timothy Bradley or Floyd Mayweather against Miguel Cotto. There's no reason that by mid-June, the 200 plus pounders shouldn't have taken a big step back toward respectability.
First up this Saturday, before a sell out crowd of over 12,000, Klitschko and Chisora will try and do their parts. Vitali may be unspectacular in his approach, but he has been so effective overall that every performance from now on is further evidence of his solid historical status, debated not all that often these days but probably soon to be.
There is probably not a foe Vitali has clobbered lately who didn't enter with decent skills and a decent plan. There is probably not a man among that group whose plan didn't start getting altered after the first or second overhand right slammed in, usually by the end of the first frame.
Consistent aggression is definitely the requisite starting point. Based on recent form, Chisora seems to rate pretty high on the scale of proven pluck. That won't count for much unless he backs it up with an effective attack, but at least it gives him a fighting chance.
Whether he can prove more effective than Arreola or Tomasz Adamek, other boxers of similar size and strategy, is the question.
If Chisora, around a 4 - 1 underdog, somehow triumphs in any manner, the bout becomes a much bigger story and Chisora's low grade antics will be elevated to effective cunning. If he gives Klitschko trouble but gets stopped early, Chisora will still be looked at favorably and with marketability. Klitschko needs to cream Chisora or explain what happened.
A week later, Povetkin and Huck take the baton in a fight that widely favors Povetkin, but the swarm in Stuttgart won't care because Huck will press the action until it presses him.
On March 3rd, Wladimir Klitschko should promise to stop Mormeck within 5 rounds or donate a quarter of his purse to charity.
This is an election year in the US, once and maybe again someday a lucrative market for heavyweight boxers. Any global heavyweight mulling around the K2/EU watering hole should elect to let the punches flow more freely and regain abandoned territory in the public consciousness. This three weekend stretch is likely the division's biggest chance to shine in years.
What else "should" happen is obvious.
The pressure should be shared, not only to win, but to go for it. Spectacular knockout or out on the cracked shield.
Never throw fewer than a hundred punches a round.
There's much more to it than just showing up in shape and going the distance if you want fans to return. Still, rumbling redemption for the heavyweights could be closer than many critics claim.
Remember, although the Kbros actualy battling in a serious competition beyond game boards is beyond doubtful, they did go through sparring motions together during a workout, feinting and shadowboxing from a safe distance that didn't illustrate much in regard to an actual matchup.
It was only a training exercise, but they were in the ring, throwing punches, however restrained. That's already more than Pacquiao and Mayweather are likely to do in the same ring anytime soon.
The Klitschkos may never equal Mayweather's fluidity or Pacquiao's propulsion, but that doesn't mean they can't be in equally or even more exciting contests.
Chisora may lack class as a citizen, but he's performing at a first class level of boxing and backed up some previous boasts. At least he tries to walk the walk.
Chisora's slap at the weigh in was a cheap shot. Unfortunately, it may also be symbolic of the type wake up call heavyweight boxing needs.
Perhaps the immediate future will provide a telling microcosm of the division for 2012 and beyond, better or worse.
If the next three weekends don't see significant strides by the big boys, they have nobody but themselves to blame. Ongoing audience derision, or worse, continued indifference, would certainly be deserved.