Power Shots: News and Views on the Heavyweight Division
by Johnny Walker
Klitschko Peeved At Comments About Steward
Juan De Leon, the coach of Polish giant Mariusz Wach (27-0, 15 KOs), who takes on world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 50 KOs) on November 10 in Hamburg, Germany, recently opined that without Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward — who is suffering from an undisclosed illness rumored to be cancer—in the champion’s corner, Klitschko would be vulnerable.
“I hope [Klitschko] will not give up before the fight, because they will be afraid that he will not cope without the Steward in the corner,” De Leon said.
“I do not exclude it, but I hope that this situation does not happen. Without Steward [Klitschko] will be missing something, he will not be so sure of himself.
“Klitschko’s preparation will be less effective without Steward, and this is another premise heralding our victory by knockout.”
These words were not taken lightly by Klitschko, who–perhaps with an eye on creating a bit of buzz about his meeting with Wach–has issued the following statement on the matter:
I don’t understand why some so-called “friendly people,” for instance the coach of Wach, are burying Emanuel Steward and my career simply because Emanuel is not physically at my training camp and may not be at my fight. Emanuel is my man and always will be. He is still my lead coach even if he is not actually present at the start of camp and may not be at the fight (which is not 100% confirmed yet).
Only Emanuel, my team and I know how the two of us work to prepare for a fight as well as all of our work over the last 9 years.
What I will tell you about our work together is that the most important part is just talking. Talking about boxing and strategy. We talk a lot!!! What do they think? We can’t continue doing this? Thanks to modern technology we can and will. My entire team, including Emanuel, will stay the same with NO changes!
The family, friends and fans around the world all wish Emanuel Steward a fast recovery and I’m sure he’ll be back in the ring as a coach and as an analyst on the HBO boxing broadcast that he enjoys so much!
In the end, I have a short message to the “friendly people” I mentioned above…..
Back off and show some respect! Stop trying to bury the man alive! Emanuel Steward is still my coach and my friend and that will NEVER change! I’m looking forward seeing you all in the ring on November 10th!
Tyson Fury Calls Out Seth Mitchell
Anglo-Irish giant Tyson Fury (19-0, 14 KOs) is still looking for his next opponent, after a lopsided win over Vinny Maddalone earlier this year. A fight with former WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev was floated, but seems to have fallen through the cracks.
Now Fury, 24, who is looking to make his debut in the United States, has set his sights on rising American heavyweight Seth Mitchell (25-0, 19 KOs), who takes on Johnathon Banks in Atlantic City on November 17.
“If I was coming to the U.S. to fight, I’d like to fight Seth Mitchell,” Fury told World Boxing News.
“He’s got a good ranking by the WBC and I think it would be a sell-able fight for T.V.
“People would be interested in seeing two undefeated heavyweights go in there and getting it on like the old days.
“I think that would be a good fight and I think he is tailor made for me – so there we have it.
“There is the challenge, let’s make it happen.”
Power Shots agrees with Fury: this would be a tasty match-up if Mitchell passes his test with Banks at Atlantic City.
Denis Boytsov’s Career Continues To Drift
A couple of years back, the buzz around Russian-born, Germany-based heavyweight Denis Boytsov (31-0, 25 KOs) was building, as the heavily muscled and good-looking young fighter with knockout power seemed like he might be destined for greatness in a post-Klitschko heavyweight era.
Alas, Boytsov’s career has been mismanaged by his promoter, Universum, and the fighter himself seems continually hampered by one ailment after another, including recurring injuries to his hands.
Boytsov, 26, whose last fight was a tedious unanimous decision win over Dominick Guinn in April, was scheduled to take on Konstantin Airich today in Germany, but has pulled out due to a “sinus infection.”
Boytsov had recently expressed satisfaction with the way his career has been handled by Universum, so “sinus infection” may be a euphemism for something more serious between fighter and promoter. Former WBA world heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev recently jumped ship from Universum — don’t be surprised if Boytsov isn’t far behind.
The Price Is Right For Audley Harrison
Another heavyweight giant, hulking British star David Price (13-0, 11 KOs), defends his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles tomorrow night in Price’s hometown of Liverpool, England against hard-luck huckster Audley “A-Force” Harrison (28-5, 21 KOs).
Given the fortunes of Liverpool’s sputtering soccer club of late, the locals will be looking for a big knockout from Price to lift their spirits, and it will shock absolutely no one if he gets it.
When Harrison, whose sardonic nicknames “Fraudley” and “A-Farce” sum up his career to date, last had an outing on the big stage, he froze like a deer in the headlights against countryman David Haye, in a fight that many suggested was a fix cooked up by old friends Haye and Harrison.
Both men refused to throw punches for the first two rounds, and then Haye appeared to verbally cue Harrison before launching a flurry that ended the fight in round three. Haye later bragged that he’d bet on himself for a third round win, prompting an “investigation” by the British Boxing Board of Control that went nowhere.
Harrison, who has since defeated local fighter Ali Adams, had talked very big before wimping out (or worse, laying down) against Haye, but he insists (of course) that this time will be different:
“This is not talk this time,” Harrison pleads.
“I talk a good fight I know, but I am coming to walk through him and separate myself from the pack.
“I can understand when people don’t believe me, but I talk like how I see it.
“You can’t live a lie when you’re on that starting line and I have lived a lie in the amateurs and professional game.
“I did just enough to win because I had that talent and chip on my shoulder to pull it out, but that ignorant guy doesn’t exist anymore.
“This is my last chance saloon.”
We’ve heard that one before, Audley.
As for David Price–whose size (6’8″ tall) and skill has many seeing him as a legitimate possible successor to the world champion Klitschko brothers–he just hopes Harrison doesn’t embarrass himself and the sport on Saturday night.
“I’d gain no satisfaction whatsoever beating up on [Harrison] like David Haye did,” says Price.
“I want him to come and fight and provide value for money for fans and that’s what I’m going to do.
“I’m going to go in there with every intention, with all due respect, to put a performance on and knock my opponent out.”
Don’t blink or you’ll miss this one — expect an early KO from Mr. Price.