Following the example of his elder brother Vitali, who is scheduled to take on unbeaten German based Syrian Manuel Charr, WBA Super, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight Champion of the World, Wladimir Klitschko, returns to the ring to defend his titles at the O2 World Arena against the undefeated Pole and current WBC International Champion Mariusz Wach of Poland.
The fight, which will be the 14th defence of the younger Klitschko in his current reign as the Heavyweight Champion of the World and the 62nd in his glittering career, gives the Ukrainian icon his toughest test.
The 32 year old Wach, who is undefeated in 27 bouts with 15 of these wins coming by knockout and is one a run of seven knockout wins in his last eight bouts, albeit against inferior opposition in comparison to Klitschko, stands an half an inch taller at 6ft 7inch and half in comparison to Klitschko’s 6ft 6inch and a half frame and also has a one inch reach advantage of 82 inches to Klitschko’s 81 inches.
It is also only the third time during his current reign that Klitschko has faced an unbeaten opponent and the first time in three years with the last man being the Uzbek southpaw Ruslan Chagaev, who Klitschko battered into a ninth round retirement in Gelschenkirken at the Veltins Arena.
The previous year, it was Sultan Ibragimov, whom Klitschko dominated to take a 12 round points decision at the great Basilica of boxing, Madison Square Garden in Klitschko’s last appearance stateside.
Prior to this, it was Calvin Brock, Boxing’s banker, whom Klitschko dispatched in seven rounds after a slow start that provoked Klitschko’s hall of fame trainer Manny Steward to fire Wladimir up for being too hesitant with that powerful left jab.
While Klitschko has the size, albeit slight, disadvantages in comparison to the unbeaten Wach, he has the clear advantages in experience in bouts, having faced 61 opponents to Wach’s 27, a greater knockout percentage 84%to Wach’s 56% as well as quality of opposition.
We shall be witnessing for the first time Klitschko having to fight his way in against an opponent rather than seeing opponents fighting their way in against him, but Klitschko has the superior experience and the technical ability to pick his way through Wach.
Klitschko will likely grind down the younger and less experienced Wach with his powerful, accurate left jab and letting go his equally destructive straight rights, which should give Wach plenty to think about.
Klitschko’s superior experience should make him the betting favourite and likely winner as he continues to write the final chapter in his Hall of Fame candidacy.
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