Wladimir Klitschko has finally, and rightfully, cracked The Ring’s top 10 pound-for-pound list. This is long overdue recognition and is very deserved.
You can knock his style, opponents, and the whole heavyweight division, but you cannot say he is not a dominant champion.
He becomes the first heavyweight ranked since Lennox Lewis was ranked. That is a significant gap between heavyweights being ranked.
Surely there will be people opposed to this and say his opponents are bad. Well, lets dig a little deeper into that.
He has beaten six former champions, eight top-10 ranked heavyweights, and he still has some good names after that on his resume.
Here is an amazing stat to wrap your head around: He has been fighting top-name heavyweights since 1999, an astonishing 11 years.
He has also avenged one of his losses and has two wins over master-craftsman Chris Byrd. He is a three0time heavyweight champion and is currently The Ring magazine champion.
He is the first to hold The Ring title since Lennox Lewis vacated it due to retirement. Klitschko is currently riding a 12-fight winning streak.
In those 12 fights he has won the WBO, IBO, IBF, and Ring heavyweight titles. He has defended the WBO title four times, the IBO title eight times, the IBF title eight times, and The Ring title one time.
Those 12 fights represent some of the best names in the heavyweight division such as Samuel Peter, Byrd, Calvin Brock, Sultan Ibragimov, Ruslan Chagaev, and Eddie Chambers.
He took the undefeated records of Peter, Brock, Ibragimov, and Chagaev. Now these may not be all-time great heavyweights, but they are the best names out there now and Klitschko has taken care of all of them.
Not only has he taken care of them, but he has knocked most of them out.
People also knock his style and, quite frankly, your style has nothing to do with being a top-10 pound-for-pound fighter. He fights that way and he wins easily, so why would he change that?
He has been on The Ring’s heavyweight rankings for 273 weeks. That is the longest out of the heavyweights by a full 29 weeks (six months and one week).
He is clearly the most dominant heavyweight of the past six years and he may be the best of a bad bunch, but boy is he good.
Klitschko walks the walk and he certainly talks the talk. He never avoids any fighters and will get into the ring with anyone.
This also shows how hard it is for fighters to stay at the top for a long time. The top-10 pound-for-pound list right now is a little weak at the bottom, but Klitschko deserves to be up there more then anyone.
If anything this should be the start of his steady climb up the pound-for-pound rankings. No matter how you look at it, this is a good step for Klitschko and the heavyweight division.
Here’s to hoping that the voters on the pound-for-pound list get their heads screwed on straight and keep moving up the most dominating champion in boxing today.