Wladimir Klitschko and Five Other Boxers Who Changed Styles for Better or Worse
When Wladimir Klitschko fights this weekend, you will be seeing the same Klitschko you have seen for the past six years.
If you are fairly new to boxing, this wasn't how he always fought. It took some losses and a new trainer to get to this point.
Fighters have been changing their style since the start of time. A change of style may happen for a plethora of reasons.
It may for the better of the fighter as in the case of Klitschko and Marco Antonio Barrera. Sometimes a fighter just gets older and needs to make the change.
In the very unfortunate cases of some, their styles are altered by the death of an opponent. Changing trainers could be a reason that a fighter decides it is time to change their ways.
Whatever the reason may be, some fighters have changed their styles and it will always happen. The real question is, was it for better or for worse?
Tomasz Adamek used to be a pure action, big hitting fighter at cruiserweight and light heavyweight. Now that he is with the big boys, he had no choice but to change his ways.
He is still a fun fighter to watch, but not nearly as fun as before the change. He still comes forward and throws punches, but he gets on his bike more often.
His conditioning is not what it used to be either. He has to pace himself so he doesn’t tire out now that he fights at 215 and not 175 or 199.
Overall he is still a fine fighter to watch, just not as fine as he once was. And now he's chasing the big money.
Final Verdict: Draw. Still fun to watch, but physically can’t be the same fighter.
There was a time when Hector Camacho lived up to this “Macho” moniker. That changed on June 13th, 1986 in Madison Square Garden.
That’s the date when Camacho got knocked around the ring for three rounds against Edwin Rosario. Up until this point, Camacho was an offensively gifted fighter who could hurt you.
He was undefeated at the time and was a former WBC super featherweight champion. After this fight, he never fought the same.
He was way more defensive and at times looked like he didn’t want to pull the trigger.
Final Verdict: Worse. Was still fun to watch due to his speed, but wasn’t nearly as entertaining.
Juan Manuel Marquez
Marquez is a very interesting case, almost a one of a kind. He was having success with his old style and would have continued being successful with it.
He was getting older, but he was still able to do the things he once. He was smart enough to know that he was too good for his own good and he wasn’t very fun to watch.
So he decided to change his style so the networks would be interested in him. He wasn’t the first to do this, but he is one of the few to be successful at it.
He was a former titlist with a great record and was considered among insiders as one of the best in the game. He made the change anyway and is still a top fighter who finds himself on TV way more often.
Final Verdict: Better. Is more exciting to watch, but still retains his old form.
Griffith had the terrible experience of killing Benny Paret on March 24, 1962. This would forever change his fighting style and understandably so.
Griffith was never a huge puncher but was a good offensive fighter and fun to watch. After this incident he was hesitant to pull the trigger. When he had someone in trouble he wouldn’t go full throttle.
Final Verdict: Worse. Obviously this would affect any man in a bad way.
Pacquiao was a one-handed wrecking crew before Freddie Roach came onboard. He was a good fighter, but not a good boxer.
After Roach got hold of him he became one of the best boxers on the planet. This was a change that really didn’t need to be made.
It was made because Pacquiao wanted to be the best fighter he could be. He would have kept winning and he did win many more titles, but he wouldn’t have been where he is today.
Roach molded him into a fighter with good footwork, great combination punching, and great ring smarts. He is basically the same exciting fighter, but a much better boxer.
Final Verdict: Better. Is still as exciting as he was before, but now he is a modern legend.
When Klitschko steps into the ring this Saturday, he does so as a champion who looks all but unbeatable. Six years ago that wasn’t the case.
He was coming off yet another knockout loss, his third, and was looking down and out. He went in the ring and tried to knock your head off and if he couldn’t he would run out of gas.
He never lost to anyone that was technically better then he was. He lost because he got tired and let his defense go to hell.
When his defense was bad, he got caught and his chin was exposed. He then brought trainer Emmanuel Steward on and his last loss happens to be their first fight together.
He has since become a jabbing machine who doesn’t let anyone get close to his chin. He is unbeatable at the moment and can attribute it all to his style change.
Final Verdict: Worse. For him it is much better, but for fans it can be dreadfully boring to watch.