I had the opportunity to watch Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KO) train in the not-too-distant past in upstate Pennsylvania.
Watching him just stretch and warm up is almost as impressive as the actual workout itself. The guy is a gym rat and a very physically intimidating presence when you’re standing next to him.
Not to point out the obvious, but the first thing you notice right away about him is that he is just so big compared to any other American heavyweights who I have seen up close. He is also incredibly agile for a fighter of his stature.
He has been compared to a stiff boring fighter, but what he does wins fights, and although fans complain about the competition, you can not deny that he is the best heavyweight in the world right now.
Most would say his older brother Vitali is the better of the two, but his four-year, self imposed layoff tells another story. He is in fact a Goliath man.
David Haye (25-1, 23 KO) has skills and heart. Never was it more apparent when he was up against Jean-Marc Mormeck on November 10, 2007.
He would get off the canvas to TKO a world champion. He was a very good cruiserweight, but Haye's biggest heavyweight issue is size.
You can teach technically proficiency and ring generalship, but you can’t teach a fighter to be 6’7" with an 81" reach. That’s a summit that has not been reached since April 10, 2004.
The good news is the last guy to climb that mountain was Lamon Brewster who was all of 6’2" and 226 lbs. Haye is 6’3" between 215 and 220 lbs.
Lamon Brewster however was used to banging it out with heavy handed hitters. Hayes resume against the glamour division, reads like a congressional deficit reduction plan. All Fluff and no stuff.
He will not be able to bully Klitschko the way he has done with smaller fighters like John Ruiz. He is going to have to make Klitschko come to him.
David loves to talk, but now its time to listen. Here is how you beat Wladimir Klitschko 101.
Start Fast, Be Disciplined and Make the Big Man Fight Small
If you look at how Wladimir Klitschko has been beaten in the past, it was mostly by fighters who were very aggressive in the first five rounds.
Ross Purity who was only about 6’3", but 250 lbs, did it in the 11th round, but Wladimir was easily beating him and ran completely out of gas in the 11th round. He lost that fight through bad conditioning.
That was something his trainers should have gotten him ready for and a problem that was easily fixed with the hiring of Manny Stewart.
Both Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster knocked out Klitschko because they made him fight small from the outside, which enabled them to put their money shots right on the beard of the towering "off balance" Klitschko.
You can not play "peek a boo" with Klitschko. Standing straight up with gloves to face, waiting for a counter punch, is a very bad idea, no matter how fast you think you are.
Just ask "Fast" Eddie chambers who looked like a kid stretching to reach the top shelf for a jar of cookies. All he got for it was a big can of whoop ass.
If you let Klitschko stay big on the outside, you make his reach more dangerous and yours obsolete. If you're smaller then Klitschko, why try to fight big?
Stay disciplined bring the big man to you. Make him lean forward, and throw his right hand from awkward positions across his body to "his" left. Double the jab to the body, the stomach and the throat.
Do not go for his head unless it’s in range or at your eye level. Keep it simple, but keep it small. Pivot away from his power and wait for your shots.
Manny Pacquiao became the pound for pound king fighting bigger men the same way. Use your size against him. Being the smaller man can be a tremendous advantage if you allow your brain to control heart, instead of your heart controlling your brain.
The Glass Jaw Joke
The glass jaw misconception of Wladimir Klitschko runs rapid in boxing, and writers just seem to fan that flame. Saying a fighter has a glass jaw used to be sort of a joke, but today it has morphed into a scientific fact.
The reality is that we all pretty much are made of the same stuff. We all have brain stems and jaws made of hard bone. Klitschko never had a glass jaw, what he had was a problem getting hit while he was very tired, by punches he never saw while he was off balance.
It’s the punch you don’t see that knocks you out. Before Manny Stewart, Klitschko would throw his right hand across his body leaving himself awkward and off balance for counter left hooks or straight left hands.
Look how carefully Dr. Steel Hammer fights south paws. He knows a guy moving away from his power, with a strong straight left hand or left hook is a dangerous fighter. Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster proved that fact.
Although Brewster is not a southpaw, he caught Klitschko with the mother of all left hooks. But if you look carefully at the very boring fight against southpaw Sultan Ibragimov, Klitschko did not seemingly throw a right hand for seven rounds.
There is a reason. South paws naturally move to their right, away from the steel hammer, making orthodox fighters reach across their body awkwardly. If a fighter is tired and sloppy, he can leave himself wide open for some very big shots with one wayward right hand.
David Haye’s big mouth and constant barrage of Internet insults got him this fight. Ineffective aggressiveness will lose if for him if he doesn’t make his aggression count. If he can start fast, and make Klitschko fight at a very fast pace and lower level, he has the power to land the haymaker.
If his machismo gets the best of him, he will end up of getting knocked out or running for his life after he tastes a big right hand. The way to beat Klitschko is to not allow him to be Klitschko. Try coming under his jab with straight right hands to his body, while moving away from his STEEL HAMMER.
Show him there is a price if he wants to "pitter patter" or get lazy with his jab.
Haye is riding a 15-fight win streak dating back to 2004 but made the switch from cruiserweight to heavyweight in 2008. Haye obtained the WBA Heavyweight belt from the also Goliath 7-foot Nikolay Valuev (50-2, 34KO) in 2009.
Although Valuev is a big strong man, Haye might as well have been hitting a side of immobile hanging beef in south Philadelphia and in no way will banging on Valuev prepare him for the boxing ability of Kiltschko.
The most important thing to remember is that Wladimir Klitschko has been hurt before by smaller men. He can be hurt again.
Some looked at Goliath and said: "Don't you see he is too big to hit?"
But David said, "No, he is not too big to hit, he is too big to miss."
1 Samuel Chapter 17