IBO, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion—“Dr. Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko—will defend his crowns against Zimbabwe-born Englishman Derek “Del Boy” Chisora, Saturday in Germany.
Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs), a Ukrainian who captured a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, hasn’t lost a bout since he suffered a fifth-round technical knockout against Lamon Brewster in April 2004.
Wladimir and his older brother, WBC titlist Vitali, are two of the Top 20 heavyweights in the annals of boxing.
Vitali (40-2, 38 KOs), who owns the highest heavyweight knockout percentage in history —95%—and has never hit the canvas as a professional, is a tremendous pugilist.
Vitali publicly declared his intention to retire from competing in the ring before the arrival of 2011.
The Klitschko’s have utterly dominated the heavyweight landscape since Lennox Lewis hung up his gloves after 2003 and they deserve a boatload of credit.
Chisora (14-0, 9KOs), a 26-year-old who won a Four Nations gold and captured the coveted 2005 ABA super heavyweight title, is an unknown talent.
It is entirely unjustified that he has been afforded a chance to battle “Dr. Steelhammer” at this juncture.
Nevertheless, “Del Boy” is confident he will expose and ultimately overwhelm “Dr. Steelhammer” when they meet.
“I am more hungry than any other fighter he’s boxed,” Chisora said.
“I want it more than he wants it. It’s not going to be a boxing match, it’s going to be a fight. I’m going to take him out of his comfort zone. I didn’t expect it to come as early as this. The opportunity knocked on my door and I took it.”
Mike Cappiello, a native of Brockton who once fought for the IBO super featherweight championship and retired with an impressive mark of 33-6, contends that Klitschko can be beat.
“Wladimir Klitschko can be beat,” said Cappiello, owner of Cappiello Brothers Boxing gym in The City of Champions.
“He is always on the outside not wanting to be hit because he knows his chin isn’t the greatest.”
“Dr. Steelhammer” scoffed at the words of Chisora and Cappiello.
“You say I have no boxing skills, you say it’s going to be rough and tough. Maybe you consider me a bum in boxing,” Klitschko said. “Well, good luck. I will make you eat your words. I love to do paintwork on your face.”
Wladimir Klitschko is 34 and with the anemic list of immediate contenders, he will likely continue to devastate the competition for years to come.
The lack of quality adversaries for Klitschko is concerning.
However, even more worrisome is the realization there is not a single decent American heavyweight prizefighter in the world today.
If there were any non-European sluggers flourishing in the squared circle, the heavyweight division would still be the glamour division in the sport.
Disappointingly, there hasn’t been an American bruiser in ages and there certainly doesn’t appear to be any on the horizon.
Therefore, boxing’s true glamour division will remain absolutely inglorious and Klitschko will inevitably do “paintwork” on Chisora’s kisser this weekend.