Wlad Klitschko is the unified heavyweight champion looking to defend his WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO and Ring belts against French Marksman and longtime cruiserweight champion Jean Marc Mormeck in theESPRIT arena, Düsseldorf March 3rd.
Mormeck’s last big title bout was a thrilling exchange of knockdowns while defending his WBC/WBA belts in 2007 against Mr. David Haye, a bout he lost by knockout. He retired for two years before coming back as a heavyweight, beating two good fringe contenders, Timur Ibragimov and Fres Oquendo, after starting with the bullish journeyman Vinny Madalone. Unfortunately, all the bouts took place in France, so not many are currently refreshed with his current fighting form other than knowing that all the bouts were fairly close in his hometown environs.
By the time of the bout he will have been off another year, but he did have a 14th heavyweight ranking on Boxrec by last year, so the bout does have legitimacy even if it appears as though he has no chance. The biggest problem is that he is not only 39 yrs old and inactive, but that he will give away 7 inches and 30 lbs or so against the champion, not a traditional recipe for success.
Young Mike Tyson was of similar size and crouching fighting style and had much success in his heyday against much larger fighters, but nobody ever mistook Jean Marc Mormeck for Mike Tyson at any point in their careers.
The fight may rightly seen as a stay busy fight for Wlad who is the most active heavyweight since the legendary reign of Joe Louis who had similar problems lining up compelling fighters after he had beaten all the top contenders out of sight. The justification of the fight could be said to be a tribute to the fine career of the often overlooked French fighter deserving of one last go for the big prize, a tradition much in the same vein where Billy Miske got his title shot against Jack Dempsey and John Henry Lewis got his title shot against Joe Louis.
In an interesting development, Wlad recently lost a bout against painful kidney stones, needing to cancel the previous Mormeck date for December 10th of last year after emergency surgery the week before the fight. Perhaps Mormeck can take advantage of a weakened Wlad, however unlikely that may seem.
Amazingly, the 35 year old Wlad has actually boxed a few less rounds in many more fights, 260 rounds in 59 fights to 265 rounds and 40 fights for Mormeck. Their ages aren’t really that far apart either, so they are closer in experience even if widely disparate in size.
We have recently seen how fighters have been adopting extreme defensive stategies to stay in the match against the Klitschko brothers, but other than making everyone look very awkward in the ring, their tactics have done little to stem the one sided bouts. I look for a traditional Wlad bout with him strafing Mormeck with his jab until he can land the knock out punch, a left hook or straight right.
Mormeck can bob and weave to cause some problems initially, but can the championship credentials of Jean Marc Mormeck change the inevitable result of this bout? We will have to tune in March 3rd to find out.