Tag Archives: Germany

Mr. Klitschko Goes To Moscow for Mr. Povetkin

Maybe Wladimir Klitschko goes to Moscow to look up Alexander Povetkin for a score to settle, or maybe not. Povetkin has already pulled out of two signed deals from years back, leaving the Klitschko promotional team scrambling for last minute replacements.

Big and Bigger?

Big and Bigger?

It may be revealing that in spite of both fighting mainly out of Germany and having signed contracts for the third time now, Wlad says he never actually met Povetkin until weeks before they step into the ring. This promotional poster follows the precedent of Mayweather/Alvarez promotions that had Floyd in two inch lifts to make him incrementally the bigger fighter. Povetkin will actually be dwarfed in the ring come fight night contrary to the illusion of the poster above.

Meanwhile, if boxing couldn’t get any more blatantly ridiculous after the refereeing of Alvarez/Mayweather and subsequent scoring controversy, the WBA which seems to have the say so in the officiating of Klitschko/Povetkin, well, one of their judges, Ted Gimza, he’s on probation confined to his house, yet will be released for duties for the duration of this match. We couldn’t make this up. The WBA provides all necessary materials for our horror:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/klitschko-povetkin-judge-on-probation-wears-electronic-ankle-bracelet-227825

Slipped a Super Mickey

Slipped a Super Mickey

Lot’s of potentially ugly nationalist politics brewing for this fight. “Russian agents” were thought to have poisoned the former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko a few years back that almost killed him and most certainly knocked him back many rungs in his ability to function. The Klitschko team had a similar experience, claiming Wlad was drugged in the the Lamont Brewster fight. He dominated the action and was on the verge of an early stoppage of Brewster before a mysterious collapse left him weak as a newborn lamb before Brewster ever landed the few glancing blows on him that weren’t even necessary at that point.

Add in the suspicious financing of an incredible $23 million purse bid for this fight that seems to be the largest purse bid in history, lots of potential for the usual monkey business of boxing for this fight. Then the controversy on whether a Russian or German drug testing cartel would be doing the drug screening for this match, the validity of often nebulous drug testing procedures and the dubious ethics of the “cartels” being as much a question mark as the athletes themselves. Let’s be clear though, Wlad is a huge favorite over Povetkin who was never that well experienced or accomplished and has been on a downward spiral from the promise he showed as a hot prospect several years back. I can’t see anything but monkey business being able to derail Wlad for this fight, so we’ll see soon enough what kind of sportsmanship is on display by the promoter and local commish.

Late breaking news shows big players greatly reducing the odds with a surge of Povetkin bets. A tsunami of Brewster bets from the UK actually shut down the bookies several days in advance of his “upset” of Wladimir, so the duplicitous history of boxing seems to be in full swing for this promotion.

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/late-money-flowing-in-on-povetkin-227994

Previous international type of fights in Russian have been pretty much above board that I can recall, so there you have it, October 5th in Moscow. Tune in to bear witness on the current health of boxing.

East Meets West With Kubrat Pulev vs Tony Thompson

This August 24 th in Schwerin, Germany a very dynamic top ranked heavyweight bout takes place when Kubrat Pulev defends his IBF International bauble against Tony “Tiger” Thompson. The 41 year old Thompson put a tiger in his gas tank of late with two consecutive stoppage wins over huge punching giant Brit David Price. “Have Fists, Will Travel” should be Thompson’s new moniker since this is his 4th straight bout overseas as he takes on Pulev only 6 weeks after last absorbing heavy artillery from David Price. Amazing!

Pulev vs Giant Ustinov

Pulev vs Giant Ustinov

That Thompson is hungry for big fights late in his career is a good way to spike his career earnings before retirement, but he best be on his best form this time around. Pulev had a very active 2012 with 3 big knockouts over top heavies while snatching the EBU European belt, so he’s long overdue for some serious action after the terrible frustration trying to secure the IBF eliminator as top ranked contenders pulled out of proposed bouts. He’s as big and strong as you would expect a Bulgarian athlete to be and possessed of an iron chin and loves to fight, in short, a brutal night’s work for anyone in the division.

Thompson applies the cross eyed hex..

Thompson applies the cross eyed hex..

As the younger fighter solidly arrived at the top rankings at a prime aged 32 on his home turf, I expect Pulev to be the big favorite, but he may have to shake off some ring rust first. As such, I expect Thompson to jump on him early in the fight for a chin check and possible early KO.

Good luck Tony, you’ll need all of it you can conjure up, because once this big Bulgarian gets warmed and rolling, he won’t stop until someone is flattened, and at 17-0, 9 KO, it’s always been the other fighter. One of the best heavyweight bouts than can be made this year, so congrats to the fighters and promotional teams for making it come together. Boxing needs to stand up and take note.

Manuel Charr Tapped For Vitali Klitschko Rehabilitation

This Vitali comeback is from left shoulder rehabilitation after holding back charging Dereck Chisora with the remaining right arm earlier this year. Vitali made some noises last year about 2012 being his last in boxing, so he scheduled a favored Kiev soccer stadium venue in tribute to his avid Ukrainian support. It goes without saying that as a Kiev mayoral candidate in upcoming elections, the fight can also be seen as a political platform to upgrade his profile with voters. Upsets happen often in politics however, his Ukrainian political opponents coordinated their collective muscle to get his fight booted in favor of a rock concert.

Fast forward, and now the fight is scheduled for September 8th at the Olimpiyskiy in Moscow. The Russian capital has become a new mecca of professional boxing in Eastern Europe as befits the rich boxing history of Russia and the surrounding Eastern European states.

Vitali vs Charr

Vitali vs Charr

Manuel Charr is an excellent young prospect, age 27 with a record of 21-0, 11 KO, but he’s never beaten a ranked fighter. He has the usual faded names of former prospects and contenders on his record while fighting his way up the rankings in Germany. His background is unusual though, having been born in Lebanon, not a place with much if any boxing history to my knowledge.

His weight runs around 235-250 range, perhaps a little heavy for his 6-4 frame, but pretty much the standard for heavyweights these days who only have to go 12 rounds at most these days. The thinking is that fighters and their trainers may feel the need for more mass to stay on their feet in the new era of scored knockdowns where a flash knockdown or touched glove count the same as a hard knockdown.

This fight was made possible because Charr has a WBC #7 ranking and was signable since he is now self promoted. The WBC #1 Chris Arreola wasn’t ready to commit to a challenge after being strafed out of sight by Vitali in 2009.

On paper and in reality, Charr chances lay somewhere between rail thin slim and none. It’s worth noting that historically, there have been some great fighters upset by untested prospects, particularly ailing great fighters. Perhaps also Charr has untapped potential just waiting for the right moment in time to express itself as when Neon Leon Spinks upset the mighty Muhammad Ali so many moons ago in the last millennium.

Regardless, we won’t be seeing Vitali Klitschko in the ring too much longer, but maybe he’s hedging his retirement in anticipation of bigger bouts to come with his recent comments. His mind’s eye says it’s retirement time, but his pocket book says it always has room for another run of the Klitschko mint.

Not a bad dilemma to be caught in. We should all be so lucky.

The Nightmares–Robert Helenius vs Samuel Peter

The ambitious heavyweight contender Robert Helenius takes the big leap forward against former WBC champ Samuel Peter in a crossroads type of fight for both on Saturday, April 2nd.

Nordic Nightmare

Nordic Nightmare

The bout takes place in Gerry Weber Stadium, Halle, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany with the 27 yr old Helenius being closer to home evirons than Peter who has taken 2 of his 4 career losses in Germany against the Klitschko brothers.

The Nordic Nightmare Helenius hails from Finland, a land seldom associated with top level pro boxing, but he has proven himself in both the amateur and professional ranks thus far, currently sporting an undefeated 14-0, 9 KO pro record.

Nigerian Nightmare Samuel Peter counters with a 34-4, 27 KO record with the stakes being a title shot to the winner and claims on the nightmare moniker. 

Nigerian Nightmare

Nigerian Nightmare

Interesting bout in that Peter has been effectively shut out by the tall Klitschko brothers, but of course 6-7 Helenius is nowhere near as accomplished as they are. Helenius does have fundamental boxing basics with determination and some power which was on display when he impressively whacked out former WBO champ Lamont Brewster not too long ago.

Brewster was getting on in boxing years however, whereas Peter is still young for the division and could well be the first to nip the developing Helenius in the bud if he is motivated enough. Training issues in the form of excess poundage have plagued him much of his career, though in today’s 12 round climate with point scoring knockdowns and premature stoppages, it’s an advantage to pack on a few extra pounds.

Helenius himself is not exactly a svelte heavy, not looking much like an athlete at all, but he seems to have been bringing his weight down from a recent high of 252 into the 230s of late

Both Peter and Helenius are straight forward offensive oriented fighters with plenty to test each other, so I see this as a fairly entertaining fight with Peter being the slight favorite.

What remains unknown is how much the beating by Wlad Klitschko last year took out of him, but Peter’s taken some time to recover so should be good enough for a hard go at Helenius, which is really what the fans really want to see, an oldfashioned heavyweight slugfest.

Mainly, it’s good to see two top contenders fighting for a change and not the tiptoe through the tulips falsetto arrangement the regrettable WBA title holder has been tickling his soft English public with in recent years.

A Fighter’s Fight–Marco Huck vs Denis Lebedev

The cruiserweight division has been long maligned as a refuge for overweight lightheavies or undersized, heavies, but Marco Huck and Denis Lebedev will be the same ring sizes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in their Fight of the Century.

Be there.....What ever recognition their careers may lack with the general public, make no mistake, these are some seriously strong fighters who can bang with the best. All the public attention will be on the hyped Pascal/Hopkins clash in Montreal this Saturday, but it’s almost guaranteed this is the fight real fighters are gonna watch for a treat.

Be there…..

 

Denis the Menace

Denis the Menace

Denis Lebedev is a throwback to rugged frame of Sailor Tom Sharkey at the turn of the 19th century. He doesn’t impress physically with his size and cut, but he absolutely imposes himself his opponent in the most nightmarish way possible, knocking out 8 straight opponents since his comeback in 2008 after a bizarre 4 yr layoff from boxing. They could only last a collective  27 rounds, or about 3 rounds apiece, so clearly the sabbatical did him a world of good as well as moving up to the cruiser division.

#1

#1

Käpt’n Huck turned pro in 2004, so his is a classical journey of a solid championship fighter, taking about 5 yrs to secure a title and now with 4 defenses notched. As you can see, this boy has some size on him, bigger and stronger than anyone he has faced, and at 30-1, 23 KO, he’s racked up a great deal of experience for a 26 yr old and been in with a collection of the best.

Huck is gonna need it because Lebedev is a murderous southpaw coming off his best win yet, a 2nd round KO of highly regarded Alexander Alexeev in the style of Mike Tyson’s storied knockout of Trevor Berbick.

This will be irresistible force colliding with irresistible force with both having unmovable chins, so someone has to crack, but who?

Huck is well experienced in 12 round fights, so one need not be a seer to look at Lebedev’s lack of extended rounds during his comeback to figure that dragging him into the later championship rounds is where you might want to drown him. That would be safer than trying to exchange with him early, but Huck is a fighter’s fighter so he loves a good mano a mano collision. Can he contain his enthusiasm and box?

Huck has shown some more boxing discipline in his defenses and he seems to be totally dedicated to boxing and wanting to hang around for some good number of years, so he might play cagey hard to get with Lebedev. I’m sure that’s what his trainers want out of him.

Lebedev I know less of which is not surprising since he’s contested so few rounds in his comeback. He has a bandy legged awkward menace to him in the ring although there is nothing fancy in what he does but simply stand in front and pick rights and lefts until he hits his bullseye. It would appear he has that awkward sense of timing that opponents cannot train for compounded by his southpaw stance, something they can only experience the fatal results in the ring. Don’t know how good Lebedev is at chasing, cutting off the ring, fighting off the ropes, fighting inside, mauling and grappling, or moving inside the range of the rangy Huck who will be popping him from outside.

Even the ring stare down will be a deadly treat, so stay tuned this Saturday and we’ll find out in German time at Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin.

The Heavyweight Dilemma, Vitali Klitschko vs Shannon Briggs

The longtime hue and cry over the current state of the heavyweight division has only intensified these past few months as top contenders, David Haye, Alexander Povetkin, and Thomsz Adamek have refused to fight Vitali Klitschko or his brother Wladimir.

Shannon the Cannon

Shannon the Cannon

Instead, Vitali will defend his WBC belt against a very hungry and now very lean and mean Shannon The Cannon Briggs. Briggs has managed to maneuver into a #9 WBC ranking, but is otherwise not highly ranked by the various orgs and websites. Basically, the complaint is that he has done nothing to warrant a title shot, the same complaint leveled at Vitali’s last opponent, Albert Sosnowski.

Read my previous musings on those claims here, inserting the formidably muscled up Briggs for the muscled up Sosnowski.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/the-battle-of-the-weakest-links/

Typically,  overemoting critics fail to understand the dynamics of leveraging a big heavyweight promotion, nor do they have any sense of the rankings or depth of the heavyweight division, preferring the easier job of bigging up the one or two names of their favored fighters as if that was all that was needed to make a prizefight, much less a title fight, the mere suggestion of personal desire.

Here are some recent Boxrec rankings as of September 5th while Vitali, Wlad, and David Haye were all putting together their fights. Keep in mind that Boxrec is the largest of the few ranking orgs that rank more than 10 or 15 fighters in a division.

The (notes) are mine of course:

1. Wlad

2. Vitali

3. Haye (already backed out of one signed and sealed contract and refused recent 50/50 offer by the Klitschkos, signing to defend against Audley Harrison in spite of repeated denials that he was even in negotiations)
4. Adamek (pending to allow cuts to heal, but apparently fighting Maddalone in Dec)
5. Chagaev (beat badly by Wlad and currently Haye’s mandatory)
6. Povetkin (refused to sign negotiated agreement to challenge in Wlad’s last defense, thus losing his 2 yr long mandatory ranking, not to mention his trainer, Teddy Atlas, says Povetkin is not yet ready to challenge for the title.)
7. Valuev (interesting deal was almost put together against Vitali, but out into next year with left shoulder/wrist surgery)
8. Peter (beat badly by Wlad 2x/Vitali 1x)
9. Thompson (beat badly by Wlad with no following)
10. Chambers (beat badly by Wlad and still rebuilding)
11. Arreola (beat badly by Vitali and still rebuilding)
12. Dimitrenko (new EBU champ, but turned down Klitschko offers, maybe building into a much bigger promotion in the next year of two)
13. Gomez (beat badly by Vitali and a last ditch opponent for now)
14. Sexton (busy being knocked out by Chisora)
15. Boytsov (maybe in the future, but only 24 and shaking off the rust after coming back from hand surgery, now is not his time, maybe a year or two in a bigger promotion)
16. Austin (beat badly by Wlad with no following)
17. Helenius (very promising prospect recently breaking into fringe contender. Maybe a year or two away in a much bigger promotion)
18. Solis (chubby growing into a blimp with promoter problems looking like he’s moving to challenge for the WBA cheese belt, not the Klitschkos)
19. Pianeta (who dat?)
20. T Ibragimov (The lesser talented of the Russian Iggys, his cousin already lost a shutout against Wlad)
21. Sosnowski (beat badly by Vitali and rebuilding against Dimitrenko)
22. Ustinov (undefeated Russian Bigfoot monster promoted by Ks and wants a Kbro. I’m guessing Vitali’s retirement fight if he makes it past Briggs and can’t sign Haye or Valuev)
23. Holyfield (Oh, brother, where art thou buried? Jeez…..)
24. Platov (who? See Pianeta!)
25. Johnson (beat worse than badly by Vitali……..please, watching Vitali try to stuff a giant squash into a blender would be better stuffing for a Saturday night turkey……..nevermore…….nevermore…….)

So, thusly informed, now say HELLO to one Shannon The Cannon Briggs, lifelong asthmaholic, part time wastrel, yet all while breaking the all time first round KO record first officially recorded by Jack Dempsey in his all time tear through the heavy division. Briggs has 31 first round KOs, unofficially 32 but for failing a post fight drug test, probably a positive test result for ganja. Briggs is unabashedly Jamaican after all.

Briggs is a strange one alright. He was a dynamic, charismatic young personality who won the ‘Dream’ “Lineal” heavyweight title with a dubious decision over the nearing 50 yr old Big George Foreman, then was knocked out in a ferocious slugfest against WBC champ Lennox Lewis in his very next bout. Instead of rebuilding, he partied hardy and let his training and weight go, thus was written off as a wasted talent.

In spite of all the above shortcomings, many years later he managed to renew “The Dream” when Briggs lifted the WBO title from the then highly regarded Siarhei Liakhovich with a Hail Mary last second knockout in the 12th round, a title that Briggs promptly dropped in his first defense. He then retired to hit the all you can eat buffets for 2 yrs before coming back hard with 4 straight 1st rd Kos.

Now Briggs finds himself square in the middle in his 3rd opportune “Dream ” when Haye, Adamek, and Povetkin all shut down and beat strategic retreats rather than to fight the brothers in a losing cause. As the “2x” champ with an established name, Briggs should bring in the business once the promotion starts touting his KO record.

Der Knock-outers

Der Knock-outers

Brigg’s may be much older and slower of hand and foot than Sosnowski, but hugely larger and stronger, remaining a danger from rds 1-12. He’s already been making the right noises about knocking Vitali out, and while his overall boxing skills may be lacking for a top contender, he has the top experience, hunger, guile, and the natural talent and power to pull off the kind of spectacular upset that nobody else in the division would be capable of.

Bigger upsets have happened in the one punch Big Boy division, that’s for sure.

Der Braumeistrisses

Der Braumeistrisses

Vitali is self promoted and has chosen a juicy date in Germany after all the Oktoberfest lederhosen has been put away, Saturday, October 16th, at the O2 arena in Hamburg. Apparently he will be throwing a rock concert before and after since the bout appears to be the sole fight on the card.

It was quite the slap in the face of Haye that Vitali chose a weekend of WBC boxing festivities in London to do the initial promotion of the bout, but Haye appears to be quite shameless in avoiding any true challenge to his WBA belt he acquired under dubious circumstances. He instead kept himself squirreled away in a secret bunker in London, all while exchanging bitter twitter tweets with The A-Force, Audley Harrison in the Great ’10 Tweet Street War of Sweet Nothings & Handbags.

Yet there is also much reputation and respect to be lost for Vitali if he were to lose to Briggs who is widely derided as previously mentioned in spite of his obvious danger, but Vitali had little choice given the limitations of his division that has seen the Klitschkos dominate their opposition in a fashion never before seen in the history of the division.

Dr. Ironfist

Dr. Ironfist

Both are aging fighters born only months apart for whom the wheels may go flying off without warning. Briggs has many more fights, but owing to his impressive 1st round KO record, they have logged near identical pro rounds, 196 for Vitali and 194 for Briggs.

Vitali has a very long amateur record compared to Briggs and was also a championship kick boxer for several years, so his odometer has significantly more miles on the clock, making him more vulnerable in theory.

The promotion should be a success overall with the European, ie, German public for whom this fight is being targeted.

Briggs 262 - Klitschko 251

Briggs 262 – Klitschko 251

This was supposed to be Vitali’s last year before retirement, after all, he will be 40 yrs old next year, but like Manny Pacquiao’s last year, it may prove to be impossible to walk away from all the money on the table for his fights.

We shall see what The Fates deal out in a couple of weeks. It could be a prototypical methodical Vitali beatdown, or an upset for the new age, so tune in if you want to see knockout record setting heavyweights still in full command their game.

 

A Message From the Boss

A Message From the Boss