Monthly Archives: June 2012

7/7–Wlad Klitschko Rematches Tony “Tiger” Thompson

Tony The Tiger Thompson gets a rematch of one of the more respectable title challenges given to Wlad Klitschko from 4 years ago. The bout takes place July 7th at Stade de Suisse in Berne, Switzerland at an approximate elevation of 1800′, creating potential stamina problems for any fighter who may be elevationally challenged. While 1800′ doesn’t represent much elevation by my way of thinking for a trained athlete, I’ve come to find that some folks are more predisposed to weakness at any significant elevation gain, so we shall see what if any factor the elevation plays.

Wlad goes for his 19th title victory against 2 title losses, one of the best all time heavyweight title records, yet still looks for respect outside the European sphere where he currently defends his title. His last defense in the US came in 2008 against the undefeated southpaw, Sultan Ibragimov, a rather tepid technical boxing display resulting in an wide unanimous decision for Wlad.

This will be his 12th straight defense since regaining his championship form with the defeat of IBF titleholder Chris Byrd in 2006. Ironically, it was then WBO titlest Byrd who started Wlad on his title path back in 2000 as well as being the first of his record setting title matches against southpaw fighters, his 7th with the Thompson rematch. Wlad is currently 5-1 with 3 KOs and one KO loss in these lefty matches.

Dr Steelhammer vs The Tiger

Dr Steelhammer vs The Tiger

Thompson says that he was hindered in the first fight by a damaged knee that he has since had two surgeries on. Klitschko has been mopping the floor against the best of the heavyweight contenders whereas Thompson has been more inactive against lesser competition. His best win was against fringe contender Chazz Witherspoon, but all 5 wins were by knockout.

And it’s a knockout that Tony Thompson will be looking for since it’s just impossible to ever outbox either of the Klitschko brothers, the most dominant heavyweight boxers by % of rounds won in history as near as I can tell by available scoring records. Thompson will be a few months shy of his 41st birthday though, not a good bet to knockout a champion sporting a 57-3, 50 KO record, the best since Joe Louis was last dominating the division.

However, Wlad is 36 years of age and looked slow and tentative against Jean Marc Mormeck in his last defense, almost not knowing what to do in the first round when Mormeck smartly manuveured into range and also froze in the moment. Perhaps he was giving the former French champion too much respect, and he did take care of business just a few rounds later, but Thompson is a much bigger threat powerwise.

Wlad is by nature a congenitally cautious boxer to the point of maddening his critics into a rabid froth anytime his name comes up in conversation. Even his highlight 2nd round KO of Ray Austin so many moons ago, quintuple lightning strikes of consecutive left hooks came out of the blue after staying well out of range with nothing but jabs to show up to that point.

Cautious to a fault, sure, but the proof is in the pudding, and it’s been a dominant career in spite of painful setbacks during the early years.

Don’t see how Tony Thompson can pull off the trick, but he will be looking for the one perfect shot during the 36 minutes of the bout. They all hone their skills and dream of their moment as any of us might, so that’s as good a reason as any to tune in for the final results.

Mexico vs Ireland vs El Paso–Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Andy Lee

Saturday, June 16th at the University of Texas at El Paso Sunbowl, the WBC middleweight title held by Julio Cesar Chavez is supposed to be defended against Ireland’s longtime challenger, Andy Lee.

Amazingly the fight was almost cancelled and then relocated because of ongoing turf wars between Juarez drug cartels over routes into El Paso. Reports are that Chavez Jr is also dating a widow of one of the slain cartel members.

The University of Texas chancellor had previously cancelled the fight because of the above problems, but then Texas and El Paso politicians and Bob Arum raised a ruckus big enough to get the fight rescheduled, but without the usual fan fare of beer concessions. I see an old school return to small hip flasks of liquor by thirsty boxing fans. 

The good news is that in theory, local, state, and federal law enforcement will be coordinated in a big show of force to discourage any ill intent by drug cartels.

Still waiting for news of the other shoe dropping in regards to how many boxing fans will brave a blizzard of unfired bullets chambered in a gauntlet of holstered guns to see the popular Chavez Jr fight in person.

Chavez Jr % Andy Lee

Chavez Jr % Andy Lee

One way or another, looks like a fight will be breaking out, so let’s hope it’s the boxers who are both game action oriented fighters. Lee is tall and rangy with good footwork and skills. His power is modest however, as is Chavez Jr who is likely to be the larger, stronger, busier pressing fighter. Lee will be the matador with footwork against the bruising baby bull, but Chavez likes a good fight and punches in bunches whenever he can, so it’s hard to see how Lee can outwork the kid. Lee needs sharp eye catching shots every round to stay in the scoring.

Also notable will be the strategic matchup between HOF trainers Freddie Roach and Manny Steward.

I’m looking for a decision in that regard what with the modest power outputs and solid chins of the fighters, hopefully better than the recent regretable decision rendered in Las Vegas last week when Timothy Bradley upset Manny Pacquiao that has everyone in boxing calling for reform.

Yeah…….right.

We can only pray for the best and hunker down for the worst come what may and El Paso is where the action will be this Saturday, so there it is.

Fast Eddie Meets Goral–Adamek vs Chambers

Tomasz Adamek may be Polish born, but he lives and fights mostly in America and looks to be the favorite and hometown hero at the Prudential Center on Saturday, June 16th in Newark, New Jersey against Philidelphia’s Fast Eddie Chambers.

Chambers is the lifelong heavyweight and should be the fresher fighter at 30 years of age and only 245 rounds in the bank, but looks are deceptive. He hasn’t fought in over a year after cancelling two quality heavyweight fights because of ongoing back problems. Adamek is 5 years older with 300 harder fought rounds in the bank as the former WBC lightheavy champ and IBF cruiser champ, but he seems to be about the same fighter as he was before, in excellent shape with the ability to make ring adjustments to win fights. As you can see, he’s also the naturally bigger fighter in spite of coming up from the lightheavy ranks thru cruiserweight as champion before moving to heavyweight to pursue bigger money and more titles.

Chambers & Adamek Faceoff

Chambers & Adamek Faceoff

Both fighters lost recent challenges to the Klitschko brothers‘ supremacy, both by knockout, but the Chambers’ knockout was a scary one punch boomer by Wlad, the kind of life altering experience we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies. 

Chambers is 1-0 in his comeback after beating Derric Rossy in a rematch. Adamek beat Nagy Aguilera, also by decision.

Both are skilled come forward action fighters with modest power, but Adamek holds all the credentials and been in against better overall competition even if he lacks Chambers’ heavyweight resume, so he should be the favorite. That said, if Chambers is healthy again, in shape, and can shake off the ring rust, this could be a great donnybrook and boost to heavyweight boxing in the US. Chambers was at one time the best American heavyweight by far before his medical woes beset him.

Thank goodness we finally have a decent heavyweight scrap on American shores. It’s been ages of shameless dogging by America’s big boys, so maybe they can tune in to this fight and learn how genuine boxing class operates in the ring.