Wladimir Klitschko is expected to step into the ring and dispose of Mariusz Wach with relative ease.
Klitschko and Wach are scheduled to fight in Germany Nov. 10.
Klitschko (58-3) is a dominating heavyweight champion who has reeled off 16 straight wins.
He has beaten the best fighters in his division and he has done so with increased confidence and skill just about every time he steps into the ring.
It wasn't always that way for Klitschko. As strong and talented as he was, his confidence was not always as high as it should have been. His late trainer, Emanuel Steward, deserves credit for helping to bring out the best in Klitschko.
In addition to the intangible factor of confidence, Klitschko has power in both of his fists and is an extremely hard puncher. He also knows how to move around the ring and command it.
With his size, strength and know-how, Klitschko is a historically underrated fighter who does not get the respect he deserves. While his name is not mentioned with the best heavyweights in history, perhaps he deserves that consideration.
As the years go by, that may change.
However, when he goes into the ring with Wach, he could be in for a difficult time.
Wach (27-0) has a quick and powerful right hand of his own. It has helped him overpower his most recent opponents. He has not fought the same kind of quality opponents that Klitschko has, but he does have confidence in his own ability.
Wach also has size going for him. Klitschko, 6'6", is generally used to being the bigger man when he steps in the ring. That will not be the case against the 6'7" Wach.
In the past, Klitschko had trouble with a big opponent like Tony Thompson, who was nearly as big as the champion. Wach is bigger and he moves better than Thompson.
Wach has knocked out fighters like Kevin McBride, Jason Gavern and Tye Fields. Those are respectable journeymen, but they don't compare with fighters like Thompson, Chris Byrd, Lamon Brewster and David Haye. Klitschko has beaten all of them.
Wach may be confident in his own ability, but he knows that Klitschko has fought a much higher caliber of opponents.
However, Klitschko will not have Steward in his corner. If Wach happens to get in a couple of hard punches early and self-doubt creeps into Klitschko's mind, the fight could turn out to be much tougher than expected. Klitschko won't be able to turn to Steward in his corner for advice or to rebuild his confidence.
If Klitschko comes into the bout with a sound mindset and fights up to his skill level, he will not lose this fight.
He comes into the bout with the reputation of a talented, hard-working and historically underrated champion. He will not lose that status as long as he leaves the ring with his title intact.