Klitschko vs Charr: Heavyweight Fight Re-Establishes Ukranian's Absurd Power

Courtesy of telegraph.co.uk
Courtesy of telegraph.co.uk
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2012

Vitali Klitschko may retire after successfully defending his WBC title against Manuel Charr on Saturday, but that doesn't take away from the match's profound message.

Klitschko is strong. His fists could be made of steel, and I wouldn't be shocked in the least. You probably already knew this about the Ukranian heavyweight, but Saturday night's dominant victory solidified that fact.

He's 45-2 with 41 knockout victories in his career. At 41 years old, he still strikes fear into any opponent who is unlucky enough to step into the ring with him.

Given his reputation coming into the match, Charr wasn't given much of a chance. He was 21-0 coming into the Moscow-based bout, but his 11 knockouts were a glaring weakness, especially against a notoriously heavy-fisted champion.

According to ESPN.com. Klitschko trails only Rocky Marciano in knockout percentage. He's KO'd 87.2 percent of his challengers as compared to Marciano's 87.8.

Interestingly enough, Vitali's brother Wladimir is fourth on the list at 83.6, but that's besides the point.

Saturday night's bout was never close. Charr's record gave him considerable hype when the two fighters took the ring, but Klitschko made him look like an amateur for three rounds.

The highlight of the fight came on a third-round knockdown. Charr took a hard right hand, went down and got up smiling. I've never boxed professionally, but that seems like a terrible idea.

Klitschko has a good reason for retirement. According to ESPN, he's running for a seat in the Ukranian Parliament, and the election is October 28. His victory over Charr was his ninth career title defense, and he really has nothing left to prove.

Watching someone get hit by Klitschko's massive right hand almost hurts television viewers. His power is stunning, and that makes defeating him nearly impossible.

He may hang up his gloves, but Saturday night's fight was a fitting conclusion.

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