By Johnny Walker
So today we see from the punchstats that Jean Marc Mormeck landed a grand total of three punches against world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko yesterday in Germany.
You read that right: THREE.
I’m not going to criticize Klitschko’s actual performance against Mormeck. Contrary to the spin put out by Klitschko and his trainer Emanuel Steward before the fight, the champion obviously knew that if he failed to blow out his overmatched opponent, his reputation would take a severe hit, and the questions from the boxing press would be annoying and never-ending.
With that in mind, Wladimir proceeded to demolish the hapless Frenchman.
I have no qualms with Wlad’s performance. He demonstrated his total superiority over the barely present Mormeck in every area.
But I do have to wonder when he and his camp claim there was nobody better than Mormeck out there ready and willing to fight.
Take the case of New York’s Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett, for instance.
True, Wladimir had beaten Barrett back in 2000, but Barrett has changed his life around since those days, and has a newfound focus and commitment to his sport. This was showed in his two great efforts against David Tua that resulted in a controversial draw in 2010 and a unanimous decision victory in 2011.
Last year, when Barrett went to New Zealand and beat David Tua in his own backyard, the fight was supposed to be the one to set Tua up for a title shot. – in fact, Tua’s promoter Cedric Kushner was livid after the bout, as a lucrative deal that he had in writing for a Klitschko fight depended on a Tua victory over Barrett.
By beating David Tua, you would have thought Barrett would be a very strong contender to take on Wladimir Klitschko. And Barrett was definitely ready and willing to get in the ring with either Klitschko brother.
“The Klitschko girls just hand-pick opponents, and fight whoever they’re emotional with,” Barrett told this writer last December.
“They remind me of emotional little girls. They’re a couple of big old trees in the heavyweight forest, taking up space. And they’re going to get pissed on.”
Barrett was obviously hoping, in light of David Haye’s experiences with them, that some trash talk might get the Klitschkos’ attention, but it was not to be. He was passed over in favor of the vastly inferior Mormeck.
And Barrett is not the only one who would have been preferable to Mormeck.
Writer Scott Christ published a list of fighters he would have preferred to see Wladimir in with compared to Mormeck, and I can’t really argue with any of his choices. Hell, even Wlad versus the hulking giant Tye Fields would have been more interesting from the mere standpoint of size.
For those who think I’m being too hard on Wladimir, who I’ve defended numerous times in the past, think back to your reaction when, after he had defeated Audley Harrison in a farcical bout, then WBA heavyweight champion David Haye floated the idea of a rematch with Mormeck, who he’d already knocked out.
The reaction I heard from most Klitschko fans was one of outrage and disbelief.
How could David “The Ducker” Haye consider such a fight?
And that reaction was the correct one.
In reality, Haye had no business fighting Jean Marc Mormeck at that point in time.
And neither did Wladimir Klitschko this time.