Jean Marc Mormeck: An Unworthy Challenger for Wladimir Klitschko
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.
Wladimir Klitschko Knocks Out Mormeck in Four, Looks Toward Fight With Cristobal Arreola
By Johnny Walker
After being coy about his strategy leading up his title defense against Jean Marc Mormeck tonight in Dusseldorf, Germany, world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko promised his German fans—50,000 of them in the arena alone—via a prefight video that he would now get his 50th knockout as a professional.
Perhaps in response to the negative tone of some of the prefight chatter heard in the boxing press, Klitschko was focused and aggressive right from the start. It was soon apparent that Wladimir was determined that he would not be answering any queries at the post-fight presser as to why Jean Marc Mormeck was able to do so well against him.
The French challenger tried to bob and weave a la Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora versus Wlad’s older brother Vitali, but lacking Chisora’s strength and firepower, it was a doomed strategy. Klitschko continually strafed Mormeck with his patented power left jab, a punch which for him is an offensive weapon. Mormeck almost immediately was forced into survival mode.
Mormeck was already in big trouble in round two, when he was sent the canvas from a powerful Klitschko right hand, but on this occasion he beat the count and saw out the round.
Wlad was manhandling Mormeck in a sloppy round three, pushing him around the ring with ease. Three rapid-fire left hooks saw the challenger reeling, and he and the champion got their feet tangled, going to the canvas in a heap.
The end came for Mormeck in round four, when Klitschko put together a vicious left-right-left combination to Mormeck’s head, sending him to the canvas for the final time. He was counted out by referee Luis Pabon at 1:12 of the round.
The fight brought a satisfying close to three straight weeks of exciting heavyweight action, with Wladimir Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs), delivering his promised 50th knockout to the adoring crowd.
Following the fight, the champion said, “It was important to break [Mormeck] in the first two rounds.”
“I’m happy about the result, not too long, just [the] right timing.”
Klitschko named British heavyweights David Price and Tyson Fury, along with WBA “regular” champion Alexander Povetkin and Seth Mitchell, as possible future opponents.
But it is former Vitali victim Cristobal Arreola who Wladimir has his eye on next –hopefully at a venue in America.
“He’s done enough to deserve a fight against me,” said the champion of Arreola, who has rebuilt his career following his loss to Vitali in 2009.
After this dominant showing by Wladimir, it seems that Arreola–and anyone else who challenges the champion–will definitely have his work cut out for him.
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Wladimir Klitschko 244.7, Jean Marc Mormeck 216.1 at Weigh-In
World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko tipped the scales at a ripped 244.7, while French challenger Jean Marc Mormeck came in at a very fit 216.1 pounds today at the weigh-in for their title bout tomorrow night.
EPIX and EpixHD.com will screen the fight beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT, live from ESPIRIT Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany, where a sold-out crowd of 50,000 boxing fans is expected.
Wladimir Klitschko Discusses Dereck Chisora and Jean Marc Mormeck
Wladimir Klitschko in “No-Win Situation” versus Mormeck
By Johnny Walker
Listening to world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko on a conference call this week from Germany, it became clear that the normally genial and laid-back Ukrainian was a little more tense than usual as Saturday’s fight with Jean Marc Mormeck of France approaches.
Klitschko and his trainer Emanuel Steward have been reading the boxing press, and bristling at the suggestion, made by many (including this writer), that the cerebral and methodical champ needs to step up his game and get rid of the seemingly over-matched Mormeck both quickly and in spectacular fashion in order to satisfy his numerous (on this side of the pond, anyway) critics.
Steward was first up, trying to tamp down expectations of a blowout in front of an estimated 50,000 European boxing fans on Saturday in Düsseldorf, Germany.
“It’s not the type of a fight that he can come out like everyone thinks and just blow the guy away,” said Steward.
“It’s so frustrating with these comments that we’re reading. And I understand the fans’ opinion, but I just think style-wise, it’s not going to be the type of a fight where you can just knock the guy out early, because his head is going to be bobbing and weaving. So when you fight a guy like that you have to fight a very patient fight.
“You have to jab and learn to control the guy’s head, because his head is upfront, which means you control his head, you control his whole weight, and which means you have to fight a patient, systematic fight to break the guy down, much like Lennox [Lewis] had to do with Mike Tyson.
“But according to all of the experts, if the fight goes over three rounds or four rounds, it’s considered a terrible performance. If Wladimir knocks him out in a minute, it’s what he was supposed to do, so we’re going into a definitely no-win situation,” Steward lamented.
The champion then spoke, and both his tone and the cutting nature of some of his comments made it clear that he is tired of the idea that there is something wrong with the way he fights, and offended by the notion that he needs to do something differently this time.
“I think you’re more frustrated that anyone else,” Klitschko snarked at one reporter who suggested that the Klitschko brothers might find the current heavyweight division’s competition less than satisfactory.
“We’re getting enough challenges, trust me.”
Wladimir also emphasized the fact that while size is important, it isn’t the determining factor in most title fights.
“It’s a tough job to fight a shorter guy,” said Wladimir.
“And trust me, it costs you more energy as a bigger guy. It’s on one side an advantage because of the size and weight, but it’s not always an advantage.
“It’s definitely – it’s a smaller target to hit, so you have to be really precise. It has to be like surgery in an operating room, you know? You have to be really precise with what you’re doing, and that’s exactly what it’s going to be like with Mormeck.”
In other words, the champion has no intention of changing his approach for Jean Marc Mormeck or anybody else.
As always for Wladimir, it’s going to be chess match.
If it ain’t broke, he reasons, don’t fix it.
“If our fights were kind of sloppy and we were getting punched in the face and we needed to have a shoehorn to put the hat on after the fights, probably that would be exciting for the fans,” Klitschko said sarcastically of he and his brother Vitali’s heavyweight dominance.
“I know what to expect from my opponents. I know the game, and it’s actually a chess game for me, believe it or not. So when you’re well prepared, there is nothing that can surprise you.
“That’s basically it.”
(Weigh-in photo by Michael Sterlingeaton)
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Wladimir Klitschko and Jean Marc Mormeck: Public Workouts
Wladimir Klitschko and Jean Marc Mormeck conduct public workouts ahead of their fight this weekend.
Jean Marc Mormeck Trains High Tech For Klitschko
Jean Marc Mormeck of France utlizes the latest training methods to prepare for Wladimir Klitschko.
All The Pressure On Wladimir Klitschko In Saturday’s Fight With Mormeck
By Johnny Walker
Following two straight weekends of exciting heavyweight fights, world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and French challenger Jean Marc Mormeck will try to make it a triple play when they meet this coming Saturday in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Just after the HBO network had announced that it was giving up on the heavyweights, Vitali Klitschko and Dereck Chisora (with an assist from David Haye), along with Alexander Povetkin and Marco “Captain” Huck, showed why contests featuring the big fellas can be exciting in a way that the lower weight divisions just can’t match.
Thankfully, new cable player EPIX picked up these fights and allowed interested American fans a chance to see some dramatic heavyweight action.
There is, however, widespread cynicism about the Wlad-Mormeck matchup (also on EPIX). The French challenger is short (under six feet tall), not exactly young at age 39, and has not had a distinguished run at heavyweight since moving up from the cruiserweight division in 2009.
There is a feeling out there in the boxing public that this is a throwaway title defense for the younger, stronger, larger Klitschko, though it could also be argued that Wladimir has earned an easy one after facing the best in the division for the last few years.
Resultantly, there is almost no pressure on Mormeck (36-4-0, 22 KOs) going into this fight. Everyone outside of Mormeck’s own immediate family expects him to lose, and perhaps even they are hedging their bets. If Mormeck somehow avoids ending his night lying on the canvas and staring up at the referee, he’ll have exceeded most people’s expectations.
For Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs), however, there is immense pressure this time not only to win, but to look very good while doing it. A chess match in the ring is not what is called for this time out, with even Klitschko trainer Emanuel Steward complaining about the lack of knockouts in heavyweight boxing as of late.
At today’s final press conference in Germany, Klitschko seemed to acknowledge the pressure that is on him to produce fireworks against Mormeck, and he at least tried to take some of the heat off and reduce the boxing public’s expectations of an easy win.
“I still have the hunger and I do not take this fight lightly,” Wladimir said.
“It is extremely difficult to box against a man who is a lot shorter. It does not make my job easier.
“His size makes it even more difficult for me to hit him. I will do anything to make sure to keep the belts that I have been unifying in the last years.”
All of that is fine and dandy, but none it changes the fact that anything less than a spectacular knockout win for Klitschko this Saturday night will see him answering numerous questions as to what went wrong. A unanimous decision is not going to be enough against Mormeck.
It’s time to for the cerebral Wladimir to put the chess set away, and go for broke.