Trying to predict the winner of a Wladimir Klitschko fight has never been the easiest thing to do. As a fighter whose technical skills are superior to all of his opponents and who has consistently enjoyed a height and reach advantage, all signs have invariably pointed to him having the edge over his adversary.
And fifty-one out of fifty-four times in his career, those advantages have carried him to victory. But I, like many boxing fans, seem to have a difficult time eradicating myself of visions of the Ukrainian Dr. Steelhammer on the seat of his shorts as the result of fist-missiles launched by the likes of Corrie Sanders, Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peter, and a fighter named Ross Purity early in his career.
Granted, he avenged his TKO loss to Lamon Brewster with a dominating TKO of his own. And although his backside sampled the canvas three times against Peter, he won the decision. And the Ross Purity thing was a decade ago and was more the result of him having expended too much energy early and running his fuel tank dry by the eleventh round.
I just don’t seem to be able to convince myself that the good Dr. Steelhammer has been cured of his ailing chin. But with his last loss by KO coming nearly five years ago, I sometimes wonder if I’m being unfair. So while I continually pick him to win his fights, I wouldn’t want to put my money down on him.
And with visions of boxing bums dancing in my head (no, I don’t think that either fighter is a bum. I just couldn’t resist the line, what with it being the holiday season and all), that brings me to Hasim Rahman.
Rahman has spent his share of time curled up on the canvas bed himself. Oleg Maskaev recently rocked him to sleep for the second time in their rematch two years ago. Prior to that he went out horizontally against both Lennox Lewis and David Tua.
Although The Rock is not without boxing skills, he is seriously overmatched in that department by Klitschko. While he’s had thee TKO wins in his last three official fights, they came against opponents by the names of Dicky Ryan, Cerrone Fox and Zuri Lawrence.
Wlad, for his part, has been on stage with a more talented cast consisting of Ray Austin, Lamon Brewster and undefeated fighters Calvin Brock and Sultan Ibragimov, as well as once beaten Tony Thompson. All but Ibragimov exited stage left via TKO.
I see Klitschko winning the fight in standard-issue Wladimir beatdown fashion. Outside of his KO of Lewis in 2001, Rahman hasn’t beaten a major name in the division. And at 36 years-old, I just don’t think he has the speed or the game to contend with Wlad.
Look for Klitschko to dominate with the jab from the opening bell, begin to work power punches in as he starts to get comfortable and then dismiss the crowd sometime in the middle rounds.