Tag Archives: Vitali

Corrie Sanders–R.I.P. Champ

Corrie Sanders tragically passed from this world in a senseless act of murderous gunplay while celebrating a family occasion at his restaurant in South Africa.

Giving Vitali Grief

Giving Vitali Grief

He’ll always be remembered for having the cojones to fight the Klitschko brothers, Wlad and Vitali back to back, his two signature bouts that defined his late blooming legacy.

 

Go find the fights on YouTube. That’s all you need to know about the fighter that Corrie Sanders was.

Corrie Sanders the Man will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

                                       R.I.P. Champ

 

Vitali Klitschko vs Derek Chisora–The Consolation Prize

Now that’s some kind of consolation prize Derek Chisora received after losing two of his last three fights against Tyson Fury and Robert Helenius, the chance to fight the bigger, stronger, and grayer Klitschko brother Vitali.

Best Pals
Best Pals

Vitali Klitschko has been invincible in his very active comeback after a 4 year retirement, 8-0, 6 KO and scarcely dropping a round in the process, but he’s now 40 years old and says this is his last year in boxing. We shall see since both the Klitschko brothers have been minting their own money at their choosing with their stellar performances. It’s a stretch to think that he can really retire from free silly money at his beck and call.

Now it’s true enough that the heavyweight ranks have been decimated at the hands of the brothers, so enter the latest dancing bear for Vitali to spar before spearing for the adoring crowds. Previous bouts against similar styled squat bodied Sam Peter, Chris Arreola and Odlanier Solis were easily handled before the knockouts.

Derek Chisora has made a handy negotiating tool for the brothers in maneuvering the forever flaky Mr David Haye into the ring, so now Chisora finally gets a well deserved if unearned chance for the upset of the decade if he can pull it off. He’s young, strong, and cocky even if he showed up double fat against Fury. He compounded that by showing up double dumb with a clowning fight plan of foul tactics against Helenius who was ripe for the taking with a damaged hand and shoulder that required surgery.

Maybe Chisora really thinks he can push Vitali hard enough to pop a wheel loose or strip some gears. Then again perhaps his promoter Frank Warren sees a short shelf life for the undisciplined lad and is making a final roll of the dice.

The grande gala commences on February 18th at the Olympiahalle in Munich, so win, lose, or draw, once again the rich history of heavyweight boxing notches another fight for the record books.

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

 

9/11, Wladimir Klitschko vs Sam Peter Reprised

This coming Saturday, September 11th, Wladimir Klitschko and Sam Peter reprise their classic IBF eliminator match in 2005 that saw Klitschko hit the deck several times against the greatly feared, wide swinging, undefeated clubber who entered the bout at 24-0, 21 KOs.

Peter was on a horrific tear through the division back then and the general feeling in boxing was that Wlad had no heart for combat, and worse, was afflicted with a glass jaw that would quickly shatter.

The Champ

The Champ

It Seems like a distant, fuzzy era light years removed from the current heavyweight scene that has seen Wlad on a fine current run of dominance, going for his 10th straight title win and his 9th knockout. He not only holds the IBF title, but also the WBO, IBO, and more tellingly, the Ring belt, finally fulfilling the promise he held as a gangly 20 yr Olympic Gold Medalist, touted as the savior of the heavyweight division when he turned pro.

The Belts

The Belts

Wlad won that first confrontation with Peter, doing something that his critics said he couldn’t do, and that is overcoming adversity by regrouping his form and going about the task of picking Peter apart until the final bell ended the 12th round.

Peter disputed the decision, wanting a rematch, but the Fates had already set each out on separate paths, only to come back full circle after having run 5 years of boxing’s tortuous gauntlets.

Peter returns as a former WBC champion, having dropped his crown to Wlad’s older brother, Vitali, a couple of years ago. After a lethargic loss to Eddie Chambers in his next bout, Peter has won all 4 of his last bouts by knockout, and, just having turned 30 years of age a few days before the rematch, Peter is near the age of a traditional athletic peak.

Wlad will rightly be a big odds favorite due to his near invincible form since the 1st Peter fight in contrast to Peter’s pair of failures against Vitali and Chambers. Wlad is also 34 yrs old in his 58th career bout which is pushing the envelope for modern heavies.

Nigerian Nightmare Lite
Nigerian Nightmare Lite

Meanwhile, Peter has transformed himself since those losses, dropping some 25 lbs of weight from his ample frame as can be seen in this training photo.

Potentially he should be about as quick afoot or quicker than he was in the first bout, but the question arises as to what style he will utilize?

Since that first bout Peter has reformed his style from crude clubber into a boxer of sorts, but finally was outboxed by Vitali and Chambers. His “Wild Bull of the Pampas” style was effective the first time, putting Wlad in dire straits and needing every fiber of his being to right the sinking ship.

Assisted Boxing

Assisted Boxing

 Of course by the bout’s end, it was Peter hanging on he was so spent. Peter was lucky to hear the final bell.

There is no way Peter can ever outbox Wlad in a million years. Wlad has won almost every round he has boxed in his professional career, so Peter has to outslug him, plain and simple. Can he do it? Peter may be in his 2nd “Reformation” as a fighter, but Wlad has steadily improved his game fight by fight, and more importantly, has earned a bit of swagger in his walk and talk that he lacked before. Whether he has gotten too far afield from his humble Ukrainian roots with the videos and brash talk remains to be seen. Understandably Wlad has been frustrated by dubious antics that saw top contenders David Haye and Alexander Povetkin fall out of scheduled matches that resulted in Wlad being placed in the position of having to search and sign replacement fighters for his defenses these past few years.

I guess it can be seen as a backhanded compliment that the top heavies would rather withdraw to endure the scorn of fans than risk the typical methodical beating followed by a knockout that Wlad lays down on his overmatched opponents.

I don’t recall this phenomena afflicting previous champions, though. Usually top contenders can’t get a title shot soon enough for their satisfaction, but it’s a new era and a softer way of doing business I guess if fighters can move to pick up a weak cheese belt.

Although Peter is a replacement fighter, he is a worthy opponent who has retained a ranking and is very hungry after going on a long diet. He may no longer be the fan favorite on a rampage through the division as he was in the first match, but he does provide the potential for some spectacle that Wlad’s defenses have lacked IF he can connect with a clean shot.

The first fight was one of the most dramatic heavyweight fights of the decade, so I plan on being glued to the rematch.

The "Right" Way

The “Right” Way