Wladimir Klitschko: Ranking the 5 Heavyweight Bouts We'd Like to See Him in

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

Wladimir Klitschko: Ranking the 5 Heavyweight Bouts We'd Like to See Him in

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    Wladimir Klitschko is the heavyweight champion of the world.

    He currently holds four titles, including the WBA super heavyweight title, the WBO heavyweight, the IBF heavyweight and the International Boxing Organization heavyweight title. His brother Vitali Klitschko holds the WBC heavyweight championship.

    Wladimir Klitschko (59-3) has met every challenge that has come his way. He has reeled off 17 straight victories and he hasn't tasted defeat since he dropped a decision to Lamon Brewster in 2004.

    Klitschko rarely gets his name thrown into the conversation when the topic is all-time great heavyweight champions.

    Nobody is saying he ranks with Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano or Jack Dempsey. Perhaps he's in the group just below that.

    Klitschko pounded out a one-sided decision over Mariusz Wach earlier this month.

    While Klitscko would be a clear favorite over anyone he would face in the foreseeable future, here are the five bouts we would like to see him in next.

    (Remember that he would never fight his brother. Both men have held that position since the start of their professional careers.)

David Haye

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    David Haye (26-2-0) would like nothing better than to have a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.

    Haye and Klitschko fought in July, 2011 and Klitschko won a fairly convincing unanimous decision over his rival.

    However, Klitschko has been stopping nearly all of his opponents with regularity, so lasting 12 full rounds with Klitschko is a major achievement.

    Haye stopped Dereck Chisora in his last fight to get back on track.

    Haye has stopped his opponent in 24 of his victories.

Tomasz Adamek

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    Tomasz Adamek is a solid heavyweight contender. He has put together a 47-2-0 record.

    Adamek has won three fights in a row and has reeled off 16 wins in his last 17 fights. The only loss in that string was to Vitali Klitschko.

    Adamek has stopped his opponents in 29 of his 47 victories. However, he is not a huge puncher despite his thick and powerful build. Six of his last eight victories have come by decision.

    Adamek would be a big underdog to Wladimir Klitschko, but he is the No. 1 heavyweight contender and deserves a shot.

Kubrat Pulev

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    Kubrat Pulev (17-0-0) has steadily moved up the ranks of heavyweight contenders.

    BoxRec.com ranks him as the fourth-best heavyweight behind Vladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek.

    Pulev is not a stylistic boxer. He is a mauler who can take hard punches and then punish his opponents with awkward looking shots of his own.

    The Bulgarian native has nine knockouts to his credit. He has registered 11th round knockouts against his last two opponents, Alexander Dimitrenko and Alexander Ustinov.

    In the victory over Ustinov, who was 27-0-0 going into that bout, Pulev stopped his opponent with an accumulation of blows. Ustinov went to a knee after getting hit with a left hook and did not get up in time to beat the count.

Alexander Povetkin

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    Alexander Povetkin (25-0-0) is a powerful 229-pound fighter who has has stopped 17 of his opponents.

    He is a 33-year-old fighter who appears to be finding himself.

    His last fight came against Hasim Rahman and he took the veteran fighter apart with a relentless attack.

    Povetkin launched a series of blows in the second round and Rahman became defenseless to stop the assault. The fight was stopped in the second round.

    Povetkin would have a difficult time with Klitschko, but he has never tasted defeat as a pro and has stopped five of his last eight opponents.

Tyson Fury

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    Tyson Fury (19-0-0) is not ready for a bout with Wladimir Klitschko.

    Not right now.

    However, in two or three years, Fury may be ready to challenge Klitschko.

    Since we are talking about Klitschko's next five opponents, Fury might be No. 5 on that list.

    Fury, 24, is a huge man at 6'9" and 245 pounds. He has 14 knockouts, but he is not a huge puncher by any measure.

    However, if he were to get stronger and more serious, he would have the size to get in the ring with Klitschko and not be intimidated.

    He has a lot of work to do if he wants to get to that point.