By Johnny Walker
Wlad and Banks “Search and Destroy”
Wladimir Klitschko and his trainer Johnathon Banks have developed a more “search and destroy” methodology for the heavyweight world champion, who is now trying to get rid of opponents as soon as possible during fights.
The “new” approach is proving to be a hit with boxing fans, who rewarded HBO’s picking up of the recent battle between Wlad and tough Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev with over 1 million viewings during two showings on the network. Pulev was hammered to the canvas in round one and was knocked out by a wicked left hook in round five.
“I believe Wladimir finally understands what fight fans really want to see and expect from the Heavyweight Champion of the world,” states Banks.
“This is boxing. This isn’t a staring contest. Fight fans want to see explosive knock-outs. And if you can’t get the knock-out, then at least show them that you’re trying to get the impressive stoppage victory. That’s what the fans expect to see. People want to see a fight.”
That’s what Wlad gave them last Saturday.
Tyson Fury Tries to Get Back On Track After Horrendous Period of Bad Luck
One has to have some measure of sympathy for unbeaten Anglo-Irish heavyweight Tyson Fury (22-0, 16 KOs) as he gears up for his upcoming rematch with Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora (20-4, 13 KOs) in London.
Over the last couple of years, Fury has seen his father, John, sent to prison for gouging out a man’s eye; has struggled with depression; has slept in a hospital for days as his young son struggled to survive; has seen his wife have a miscarriage, cancelling a fight with Alex Ustinov; has seen not one, but TWO fights with David Haye cancelled under dubious circumstances (nothing unusual there for reality TV star Haye); has had a close relative pass away; had his home and cars vandalized; and even seen his rematch against Chisora pushed back due to an injury to his opponent.
Whew. Fury seems like the man with the proverbial black cloud over his head at the moment.
And he’s not taking anything for granted as the November 29 fight approaches, either.
“I’m really not sure what to anticipate. I never really know what I’m going to do, never mind what Dereck Chisora is going to do,” Fury tells BoxNation.
“No doubt he will be fitter and lighter. He’s going to have to be. But he was a 27-year-old man last time, it wasn’t as if he was just starting out, and he got beat up by a kid.
“People aren’t expecting much from him, just as they never expected Tony Thompson to do much in his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko after Wlad won the first fight so emphatically.
“But I’ve prepared for every scenario. Clearly he’ll be looking to plough forward, bury his head into my chest, smash my body, then hope I tire out down the stretch and that the judges are on his side. Not a bad plan.
“He could also knock me spark out with one punch. I’ve been over twice from overhand rights and Dereck’s a far bigger heavyweight than Steve Cunningham. But it ain’t gonna happen. To hit my body he’ll need to drop his hands. They won’t be the only thing getting dropped!
“I’m far more concerned with my inactivity. It’s not good preparation. Regardless of how many rounds you spar, you’re not hitting each other with 10 ounce gloves before a packed audience at an arena. By contrast, Dereck’s been busy which gives him a far better chance. This is heavyweight boxing. It’s no longer a foregone conclusion. He wants exactly the same thing I want,” Fury continues.
“The big thing in my favour is that, unlike me, Dereck knows how to lose. He’s getting well paid again and, once it starts getting really heavy, he’ll pack his tools away and head home. I guarantee there’ll be no jacking from me.”
Let’s just hope Fury finally gets to vent some, errrr, pent-up “fury” in the ring come November 29.
Bermane Stiverne to Defend WBC Heavyweight Strap Against Deontay Wilder on January 17
Haitian-born WBC heavyweight champion Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne is set to defend his title, won when he knocked out American Chris Arreola after former champion Vitali Klitschko retired to a life of politics.
According to ESPN.com, Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) will clash with American KO artist Deontay “the Bronze Bomber” Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) on January 17, 2015, in a card broadcast from Las Vegas by the Showtime network.
This is a fight that is really hard to predict, given that it is Stiverne’s first title defense coming against a man whose opposition has for the most part been of a Shannon Briggs variety (ie. hopeless).
Either man’s chances of ending Wladimir Klitschko’s dominance of the heavyweight division appear slim to none, but that doesn’t mean that this fight couldn’t be an explosive battle.
Tony Thompson Versus Odlanier Solis II Pushed Back Again
The bout between American heavyweight overachiever Tony Thompson (39-5, 26 knockouts), the American veteran whose back-to-back knockouts of Brit giant David Price not only stunted the latter man’s career but caused his manager to have a sex change, and perennially underachieving Cuban Odlanier Solis (20-2, 13 KOs), already pushed back once to November 22, is now pushed back again.
The bout will now take place on January 24 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
As Thompson already beat Solis once before by split decision, the rationale for this rematch escapes this writer, but whatever. Hopefully this time Thompson leaves no doubt in any of the judges’ minds and rids the heavyweight division of the obnoxious “Sponge Bob” Solis–whose once ardent fan club has mostly faded away now–and his absurdly hyperbolic manager, Ahmet Oner.
Anthony Joshua Back This Weekend on UK Undercard
Exciting Olympic gold medalist and rising UK heavyweight Anthony Joshua (9-0, 9 KOs) will be back this weekend of the undercard of the Nathan Cleverly versus Tony Bellew headliner.
Joshua will be taking on waning veteran Michael Sprott (42-22, 17 KOs), in a bout which shouldn’t last much past a couple of rounds. But this being boxing, anything can happen and often does.
Manuel Charr Ready To Stalk Briggs For A Klitschko Eliminator
The always amusing Manuel “Diamond Boy” Charr says he’s heard enough from professional Wladimir Klitschko stalker Shannon Briggs and wants to fight Briggs with the winner to get a shot at Wlad.
“Shannon Briggs believes that he can purely talk his way into a title fight, but if he really wants to get in the ring against Wladimir he must deserve his chance by beating other opponents,” opines Charr. “I urge Shannon Briggs to accept my challenge for an elimination fight so that the winner can truly earn a fight with Wladimir.”
The idea of the vociferous Charr (27-2, 16 KOs), who recently stopped American veteran Michael Grant, stalking the big-mouthed Briggs around the world as Briggs stalks Klitschko is a scenario which could only happen in professional boxing.
“Let’s go Charr!”