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Steward is the Primary Reason Klitschko will Outclass Thompson by Phil Woolever

BY Phil Woolever ON July 07, 2012
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WK-JUNE-2012-TT-WORKOUT MG 9259NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN, HOPING TO KICK YOUR BUTT - The two words that best sum up why Wladimir Klitschko is so justifiable as an overwhelming favorite to defend his multiple heavyweight baubles and belts Saturday night against Tony "The Tiger" Thompson are not left cross, right uppercut, or even unseen speed. The words are a name : Emanuel Steward.

How much further Steward will propel and refine Klitschko as a boxing machine is a wide open question. If Klitschko retains his present form for a few more fights, it's not only another accolade in the Detroit professor's portfolio. It could be Steward's most impressive achievement as a trainer, no small matter when considering Steward's unsurpassed career.

Steward is probably one of the primary guiding forces in the K2 empire.

It's been almost four years exactly since Klitschko, who weighed in at 249 1/4, stopped Thompson, 244 3/4, in the 11th round of their initial encounter. How much the 40 year old Thompson has gained or lost in his skill set remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that Klitschko is vastly improved since that first go in Hamburg. Even under the unlikely possibility Thompson somehow became twice as good, he's still a big underdog.

The fighters have maintained formal interactions during fight week functions, with no unnecessary drama. Thompson flipped off a fan who yelled "You Lose" at the weigh in and that's as wild as things have been. One gets the sense the boxers are, appropriately, saving issues for the ring.

K2 has employed Thompson as a sparring partner, and he appeared on the undercard of Vitali's fight against Juan Carlos Gomez. If the Thompson who pounded durable Adrian Serin into a harsh 5th round stoppage that night shows up in Switzerland, Klitschko will have his hands full, but only for a while.

Both fighters look like they have a bit a grudge about something to prove.

If Thompson's claims of knee problems during the first meeting are accurate, we may see that 50% improvement in his performance, but we will not see much difference in the result. Alpine odds should be around 4-1 Klitschko.

The contest in Bern is very likely to resemble the first bout, except that Thompson will likely try to establish something early and there could be some heavy exchanges. That scenario is really Thompson's only chance, to put Klitschko into a shell, then control enough infrequent exchanges to get the nod.

Won't happen. Klitschko's awesome jab is getting even better, but the most noteworthy thing visible at this week's public workout was speed. Klitschko looks like he is operating in another gear these days, behind shifting shoulder leverage that has turned leather gloves into laser beams. The improvement in Klitschko's flow of defensive leg movement into stationary punching power is even more apparent than it was during Steward's work with Lennox Lewis.

Watching Steward's general daily interactions, he appears to think in levels like a three dimensional chess master and such cognitives are multiplied in a boxing ring. It seems almost impossible that Steward would have observed the southpaw Thompson around K2 camp and not have developed formulas to use against him, just in case. In this case that was the case, and Klitschko should see everything coming well in advance.

What we should see coming is another version of the Klitschko - Jean Marc Mormeck affair. The challenger tries as hard as he can but it's a water balloon against a brick situation.

What we should see coming is another early night.

What we should see coming is that if Steward admitted some adjustments had to be made in the first fight, they have been made, and further adjustments have been prepared.

What Thompson probably won't see coming is the straight shot that pastes him to the canvas.

Steward and Klitschko have emerged as one of the most interesting fighter/trainer combos in many a moon.

If Steward says the battle will end within five rounds, placing a wager that direction isn't an unwise move.

If there's a way to improve the already formidable Klitschko even more, it's also a pretty safe bet Emanuel Steward will find a way to do it.

Photo: http://michaelsterlingeaton.com

Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

VK keeps evolving. He'll probably become enternaining to watch as he enters the final chapter of his career. Stewart,....What happened with Andy Lee? Guess some people are immune to the "Midas" touch.

Radam G says:

YUP! A know-his-syet trainer is very, very IMPORTANT. Da game is a team sport. And always will be that. All the jive about the fighters being the only ones fighting is BULL. That is unless you have two dumb-a$$ knuckleheads getting it on. There is nothing like a good second/trainer in your corner to make syet flow easier and loosey goosey. And will always have the nerves to tell you the truth.

"You're blowin' it, son! Ya' blowin!'"

"Quit makin' da sh*t hard. Go to dat muthaf***er's body, get his a$$ outta here, and let's go home."

"Do you want me to fight diz sucka fo' yo? Let's go!"

"Go and fight. Yo bettah than dat suckas. Win diz syet fo' yo' momma."

"___ ____ ___ ____ ____ ____ __ ___"

Success comes for the fighter because he goes together with his trainer like white on rice, stink on syet, black on tar, life on Jesus, evil on the devil, bullsh*tology on know nothings, fake on a phony and like the real deal on Evander Holyfield, like the Greatest on GOAT Ali, like the whup-a$$ on Da Marvelous One, and like da speed on Willie "Wisp-o-Wiz" Pep, Da Manny, Sweet Pea, da five great Sugarmen of da game, "Too Sharp" Johnson and "Macho Time" Camacho. Holla!

Radam G says:

OOPS! I musta' fo' got! Like da moola on Commissary Lil' Floyd Junbug -- I mean Money May.

BTW, let me be the first to report that gangsta wannabe Lil Floyd has developed cleithrophobia while been in that five-star Sin City hotel. Hehehehe! Holla!

Radam G says:

And another one bits da dust! Doc W. Klitschko just sent another tomato-can heavy into the very deep dark. Wow! When it comes to the K-bros/docs, not a single, sorry arse heavy can bite or even fudging BARK! Holla!

gibola says:

Trainers are very important, it is a team effort, but you sure picked the wrong fight to try and make that point. In a parallel universe, any trainer on the planet replaces Manny Stewart and Wlad wins in exactly the same fashion. Don't fool yourself - this ain't Leonard-Hearns. The primary reason Wlad wins all his fights is because he's the bigger, better fighter and other fighters can't reach him. Manny tries to get the passive Ukranian to be aggressive and on fightnight motivation appears to be his major tool (apart from telling Wlad to keep jabbing). Could Manny have won the fight for Thompson if he'd been in the opposite corner - No. Would Wlad have won with Barry Hunter or any other trainer in his corner - Yes. Trainers are important but fighters and what they are capable of doing is even more so.

dino da vinci says:

Trainers are very important, it is a team effort, but you sure picked the wrong fight to try and make that point. In a parallel universe, any trainer on the planet replaces Manny Stewart and Wlad wins in exactly the same fashion. Don't fool yourself - this ain't Leonard-Hearns. The primary reason Wlad wins all his fights is because he's the bigger, better fighter and other fighters can't reach him. Manny tries to get the passive Ukranian to be aggressive and on fightnight motivation appears to be his major tool (apart from telling Wlad to keep jabbing). Could Manny have won the fight for Thompson if he'd been in the opposite corner - No. Would Wlad have won with Barry Hunter or any other trainer in his corner - Yes. Trainers are important but fighters and what they are capable of doing is even more so.


You could do hours on this subject. (and we have)

It's from the 'chicken and egg' school. I, for one, have a deep appreciation for the least appreciated cog in the fight game. That of the deeply knowledgeable fight trainer.

deepwater says:

umm if that was true andy lee would be great!

Radam G says:

@Deepwater. GBG Manny Steward is just a trainer. Not a miracleworker. He'd need to be that to get Andy Lee to greatness. And than again, sometimes you don't even have a miracle for Jack, Jill or Jesus.

Jesus Had no miracles from His Daddy for those Romans whuppin' His Holy Arse and nail Him on a cross. And the prayers of His moms Mary and His ho Mary Magdalene didn't get the attention of one angel or Da Big Guy Up In Da Sky.

I doubt that GBG MS has a single solution to get Andy Lee to be great. Hehehehe! Holla!

mortcola says:

What Manny gave Wlad was two part: economy and control of technique; and calm mental centeredness. He managed Wlad's anxiety as much as his technique, and got him to believe that he could overcome the beast in the ring and the beast in his head. He teaches good technique. But, no miracle worker - you can only maximize what is there. Andy Lee is an OK fighter. That's all. He is as good as he's gonna get. Wlad needed to earn his balls - he had all the physical and mental gifts, except for a warrior mentality; but he had the potential to be the sort of clinical scholar-warrior he is, which is more than enough to completely neutralize and dominate every fighter of every style he has faced since he hit bottom those many years ago. Manny is like an orchestral conductor - he pulls together what is potentially there and allows it to sing. Can't do that unless the music is within, that is, unless the fight is in the fighter.

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