doesn’t get you a spot in the Hall of Fame, but a body
of work does.
For years I
have stated my dislike for the “boring” Dr. Ironfist.
“He stands to straight up”, “He fights like a damn
robot” were just a few comments from my pie hole. All of
that may still be true, but darn it, I’m starting to
appreciate it a little more. Call it maturity, call it
an awakening, or if you want, call it ignorance on my
part. Whatever it’s called, I’m all in. I have said
“uncle” as it relates to Klitschko’s ability as not only
a Heavyweight, but a legitimate Heavyweight Champion of
the World. As an admitted Heavyweight Division junkie,
it is actually a relief for me to say that out loud.
the heavyweights are what got me hooked on Boxing. From
Rocky Balboa to Larry Holmes to Lennox Lewis, I flat out
love watching the big boys throw hands. Over the past
five years or so, we have suffered through the likes of
Sultan Ibragamov, Ruslan Chagaev and my all time
Heavyweight whipping boy, John “The Nyquil Man” Ruiz.
Vitali’s younger brother, Wladimir has also come under
much scrutiny over the years due to a chin that at times
has seemed to be shall we say, less than sturdy.
first time in years, I’m actually contemplating a
current heavyweight champion and how he might do against
past champions. That in itself is somewhat refreshing to
me. How would Vitali do against one of the better former
At the risk
of upsetting the X-Box generation, what if Vitali
Klitschko fought “Iron” Mike Tyson?
sacrilege in many circles to even consider that
Klitschko could give the artist formally known as
“Baddest Man on the Planet” a fight. Surely Vitali would
crumble under the fierce pressure of a “prime” Mike
Tyson. Tyson had guys beat before the even stepped in
the ring, right? Guys like Trevor Berbick, Pinklon
Thomas and the All-Time great light heavyweight Champion
Michael Spinks froze under the glare of Tyson’s
mystique. Well those guys sure did, but what about tall
heavyweights like Tony Tucker, Bonecrusher Smith and
In his pre
title days, Iron Mike struggled with cagey veterans
James “Quick” Tillis and Mitch “Blood” Green, both of
whom were taller Heavyweights. If guys like that could
give Mike Tyson problems, is it so outlandish to think
Vitali could do some damage?
If a prime
Mike Tyson fought Vitali Klitschko, it is my opinion
that the educated Ukraine would not have the mental
make-up to be “beat before he stepped into the ring.” He
is much too cerebral for that. He is also 6’ 7 ½” tall
and weighs a solid 252 pounds.
5’10” Mike Tyson get inside to blow away the big guy? We
know that Klitschko wouldn’t just stand there and let
Mike hit him. The jab and movement of Klitschko would be
the key to Klitschko being able to come away with a
victory. Vitali has always shown a solid chin and would
not crumble the first time Tyson landed a shot.
Throughout Tyson’s career, he proved how menacing he
was. He also proved on more than one occasion, if you
fought back, he would be the one that crumbled. Bullies
don’t like people to fight back and you know Klitschko
would do just that.
I would ask
you for a minute to just step aside and think about it
for a minute. Block all the ESPN Classic highlight reels
that have been shoved down our throats over the past ten
years showing Tyson KO bums in 30 seconds and just look
at the match up itself. I was having this argument the
other night with a Tyson apologist. As he told me that
Tyson knocked out everyone in one round, I quickly
corrected him and he wanted no part of it. I sometimes
wonder if some of these Tyson fans have actually watched
all Mike’s fights, outside of the knockout highlights.
to the conclusion that Vitali Klitschko would indeed
beat Mike Tyson if they were to fight. Outside of
Tyson’s advantage in power, Vitali holds all the
advantages of height, weight, speed, footwork and reach.
thing that makes me think Klitschko would win would be
his dedication and respect for the game. It is my guess
that Vitali Klitschko doesn’t balloon up in weight
between fights. He doesn’t smoke, drink, hit parking lot
attendants or crash BMW’s. He lives clean, trains clean
and has respect for his sport enough to be ready to
fight every time out.
to pick a winner, I would go with Klitschko by late
round stoppage. He would be just too strong and elusive
for the front running Tyson.
Ironfist” is not your typical oversized Heavyweight like
Primo Carnera or his other European counterpart, Nikolay
Valuev, who uses his size and brute strength to beat you
without having much ability. Klitschko is a rare breed,
he is a huge guy that fights with finesse and
intelligence. I know it is not pretty to the eye on
occasion, but believe me, it is quite effective.
His jab is
like a piston that not only keeps his opponent at bay,
but it hurts them and stops them in their tracks. He has
a sneaky little right hand and tremendous left hook.
Due to his
awkward way of delivering shots, it often appears he
lacks power. I would disagree, he certainly doesn’t have
Ernie Shavers one punch power, but by way of his shear
natural brute strength and volume of punches, he breaks
guys down. Think about it, chasing a 6’ 7” guy around a
ring for an hour while he hits you with about 800 solid
punches is a tough night’s work.
are speaking of chasing a guy around the ring. I have
read other writers and fans comment on Vitali and his
alleged “running and holding” and how he is somehow less
of a man because he wouldn’t stand and fight with Chris
Arreola last Saturday. That type of thinking is quite
foreign to me. Last I heard, this is Boxing, the art of
hitting without being hit. If you hadn’t watched the
fight, and read some of the stuff coming out of some
people’s mouth, you would have thought Vitali showed up
in running spikes expecting to take on Usain Bolt.
Klitschko was brilliant on Saturday. He didn’t get hit
much, if at all, he threw 800 punches in the fight and
outclassed his opponent with ease. I will admit that
Chris Arreola was thrown to the wolves a little early in
this one, but that shouldn’t take away from “Dr.
Ironfist” and his outstanding performance in Los
first time in a few years, I have someone that I can
call the Heavyweight Champion of the world and not feel
bad about it. Too bad the guy is almost as old as me. No
worries though, I’m sure little brother will pick up the
Chris Arreola has the answer to his question, “why can’t
I drink a beer?” Hopefully Chris will learn a lesson and
take a page from Klitschko and dedicate himself to
Boxing. He is a very likeable and marketable guy. I
think the Heavyweight Division would be a better place
with him in it.
-Am I the
only one sick and tired of “Captain Hook” Roy Jones,
Jr.? Don’t go away mad Roy, just go away.
also be the only one excited about Chad Dawson- Glen
Johnson II. I love the old crafty veteran, Glencoffe
Johnson. I also think Chad Dawson has the potential to
be a great one. The competition in the light heavyweight
division might be soft now, but as long as Chad keeps
winning, his time will come.
month’s Ring Magazine that hits the stands on October 6th,
there will be an article on the upcoming Manny
Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight and The Ring has twenty
“experts” give their predictions on the bout. I use the
term “expert” loosely because one of those experts is
yours truly. I must have had naked pictures of someone
high up the chain of command I guess. I laugh when I say
Dave Wilcox and the word expert in the same sentence.
I’m sure after reading my thoughts on Vital Kitschko,
you might have laughed as well.
Rose in the Hall of Fame yet?
forget to listen to The “Talking Boxing with Billy C.”
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serves as the West Coast Correspondent for Billy C. and
appears on the show Mondays.