Vitali Klitschko

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Vitali Klitschko

Duggerman
Administrator


If he remains retired or not remains to be seen - although I think he's serious this time. Let's say he never returns to boxing, how would you evaluate his legacy? I honestly feel kinda bad for the guy when you look back at his career.

He came up short in the most important fight of his career against then Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis. Sure Lewis' age was catching up to him. Sure he was rusty after a long year's layoff coming into the fight. Sure he only had a week or two to train for Vitali. But it was a great fight and Vitali was ahead on the scorecards when he was stopped. Bad break. A win over a dominant heavyweight champion like Lennox Lewis would have been great for his legacy.

And then you look at his other opponents. No one was really worthy of mentioning. Shannon Briggs is a former 2x Heavyweight Champion and great knockout artist but was too old by the time Vitali got to him. At the end of the day, you'll see that Vitali beat up a bunch of nobodies - guys that were much smaller and/or not in the man's league. The way he quit against Chris Byrd doesn't help his legacy either.

I'm disappointed and feel bad for his legacy because Vitali was quite good. He had an iron chin. (Not many guys survived the uppercut of Lennox Lewis) Unlike his brother, Vitali can brawl and box, depending on the situation. Unfortunately his legacy is made up of beating nobodies, outpointing an over the hill former champ (Shannon Briggs) and losses to former champions Lewis and Bryd. And, ironically enough, Vitali was winning both of those fights before they were stopped.

His record makes Larry Holmes' record look great by comparison. (Gerry Cooney, Earnie Shavers, Tim Witherspoon, Ray Mercer and Marvis Frazier are better than the guys Vitali routinely beat).

In another era we could have seen just how good (or great) Dr. Iron Fist really was.

Thoughts?

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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Sivul
You hit the nail on the head, my friend. Vitali's record is full of wins but against nobodies. What a shame because he actually is quite good but had no one around to give him a good fight other than his brother.

Think if he'd turned pro anytime between '89-92. That would put him right in the mix of great fighters from the '90s. Mercer, Tua, Foreman, Ruddock, Morrison, Moorer, Briggs, Holmes, Lewis, Tyson, Bowe, Holyfield, Golota and others. Some of them he might beat but others he would lose too. Either way we'd know how he'd react to other tough fighters in their primes when they turned up the heat on him. The heart he showed against a declining Lewis makes me think he'd fit right in among some of those good heavyweights.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Zorro
If Jess Willard were alive and fighting now he'd enjoy the same success Vitali had. A tall, robotic giant beating small heavies. Willard could be more aggressive than Vitali however.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Sivul
Zorro wrote
If Jess Willard were alive and fighting now he'd enjoy the same success Vitali had. A tall, robotic giant beating small heavies. Willard could be more aggressive than Vitali however.
This is probably the weakest that the heavyweight division has ever been. The Klitschkos are dominating the worst heavyweight era known to man. Maybe fighters from earlier eras would expose them as bums. Or maybe the Klitschkos are tough enough to bang with great fighters from those eras. We'll never know.

People say Larry Holmes and Rocky Marciano dominated weak eras. Not at all compared to the Klitschko generation.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Rosco
Disappointing career indeed. The clash with Lewis was without question his best fight.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Duggerman
Administrator
Rosco wrote
Disappointing career indeed. The clash with Lewis was without question his best fight.
And he lost it, as well as the Chris Byrd fight. Ironically he was winning both fights before he lost them. Both of those losses were strange and hurt his legacy. He doesn't hold a win over any legendary champions or contenders, unless you count an over the hill Shannon Briggs.

I feel cheated as a fan because we'll never quite know how good he really is. It's not his fault, of course. But there's always gonna be that question mark.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

BAD INTENTIONS
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote


If he remains retired or not remains to be seen - although I think he's serious this time. Let's say he never returns to boxing, how would you evaluate his legacy? I honestly feel kinda bad for the guy when you look back at his career.

He came up short in the most important fight of his career against then Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis. Sure Lewis' age was catching up to him. Sure he was rusty after a long year's layoff coming into the fight. Sure he only had a week or two to train for Vitali. But it was a great fight and Vitali was ahead on the scorecards when he was stopped. Bad break. A win over a dominant heavyweight champion like Lennox Lewis would have been great for his legacy.

And then you look at his other opponents. No one was really worthy of mentioning. Shannon Briggs is a former 2x Heavyweight Champion and great knockout artist but was too old by the time Vitali got to him. At the end of the day, you'll see that Vitali beat up a bunch of nobodies - guys that were much smaller and/or not in the man's league. The way he quit against Chris Byrd doesn't help his legacy either.

I'm disappointed and feel bad for his legacy because Vitali was quite good. He had an iron chin. (Not many guys survived the uppercut of Lennox Lewis) Unlike his brother, Vitali can brawl and box, depending on the situation. Unfortunately his legacy is made up of beating nobodies, outpointing an over the hill former champ (Shannon Briggs) and losses to former champions Lewis and Bryd. And, ironically enough, Vitali was winning both of those fights before they were stopped.

His record makes Larry Holmes' record look great by comparison. (Gerry Cooney, Earnie Shavers, Tim Witherspoon, Ray Mercer and Marvis Frazier are better than the guys Vitali routinely beat).

In another era we could have seen just how good (or great) Dr. Iron Fist really was.

Thoughts?
Good breakdown...he has what it takes to be a top 10 heavyweight of all time I would think...he's got an akward style and do a lot of things...he kept himself in control of the fight most times....great chin also......BUT.....how would he do against a peak Ray Mercer? Sonny Liston? Larry Holmes? Evander Holyfield? Mike Tyson? Riddick Bowe? There's so many unanswered questions...he never fought anyone great that could turn up the heat on him other than Lewis, who was fading at the time.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Bert Sugar
Gawd he was BORING! One boring Klitschkho down. One more to go.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

49-0
Bert Sugar wrote
Gawd he was BORING! One boring Klitschkho down. One more to go.
lol
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

George Jefferson
From wikipedia-

Klitschko was known for his powerful punches and durable chin. With an 87.23% knockout percentage rate, he holds the second best knockout-to-fight ratio of any champion in heavyweight boxing history, after Rocky Marciano's 87.76% and is the 8th longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time. He has never been knocked down in any professional boxing bout. His two losses have come via a shoulder injury during a fight and a deep cut above his eye, which were recorded as TKO losses. In both fights, however, he was leading on the scorecards. His power and his possession of a doctorate have led to his nickname, Dr. Ironfist.

Doesn't sound anything like a bum to me. He sounds like a monster head to head.

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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Duggerman
Administrator
^^He might sound like a head to head monster. Maybe he was. But we'll never know because he fought the weakest competition of any heavyweight champion. That is what dilllutes his accomplishments.

Would he have the second highest knockout percentage of all former heavyweight champs if he fought in a better era? I doubt it. Would he have picked up more losses in a better era? I think so, especially since he lost to the two biggest names he fought. (Yes, both losses were controversial but a loss is a loss). Would he have suffered a knockdown in a different era? I reckon he would. He was clinching on to Lewis for dear life after those uppercuts to keep from falling. That shows that he could be hurt. A younger and sharper Lewis would have been able to finish him.

Vitali had a great chin but I'm curious to see how his vaunted chin would hold up against a Foreman or a combination puncher like Louis or Tyson. That's what's frustrating about all of this - the mystery. Vitali was good. But we'll never know how good.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Left Hook From Hell...
He was the WBC Champion? So who was the real heavyweight champion between he and his brother? Or were they both just considered title holders?
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Zorro
Left Hook From Hell... wrote
He was the WBC Champion? So who was the real heavyweight champion between he and his brother? Or were they both just considered title holders?
They both had legitimate claims to the throne.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Entaowed
You want you head to spin?  There has been an oft-corrupt alphabet soup of titles for decades unfortunately.  Here is an excellent combat web site (the classic section covers what we do) which traces & debates the legitimacy of claims for various components of the international title since the lineal champion Lennox Lewis retired.

http://www.boxingforum24.com/showthread.php?t=137131
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Kevin38
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Even though technically he lost those fights, we all know what happened, and that counts more than anything IMO. He is/was much better than Byrd and he presented match-up problems to Lewis and had him beat, cuts happen, thats part of boxing, and you dont even have to be winning a fight if its stopped due to a cut. Give the man his credit, dont add all the what I call "excuse" adjectives when saying who he beat, old, out of shape, injured, lay-off ect ect ect, AND yes I know I am dealing w/ Fact-mongers here.....lol
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Evolution
Kevin38 wrote
Even though technically he lost those fights, we all know what happened, and that counts more than anything IMO. He is/was much better than Byrd and he presented match-up problems to Lewis and had him beat, cuts happen, thats part of boxing, and you dont even have to be winning a fight if its stopped due to a cut. Give the man his credit, dont add all the what I call "excuse" adjectives when saying who he beat, old, out of shape, injured, lay-off ect ect ect, AND yes I know I am dealing w/ Fact-mongers here.....lol
Those are not excuses. They are just the facts. Lennox was past his best, older, out of shape and hadn't fought in well over a year. If Vitali had done this well against a prime and in-shape Lennox then you'd have a point. But right now you don't.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

MAGUIRE
In reply to this post by Kevin38
Kevin38 wrote
Even though technically he lost those fights, we all know what happened, and that counts more than anything IMO. He is/was much better than Byrd and he presented match-up problems to Lewis and had him beat, cuts happen, thats part of boxing, and you dont even have to be winning a fight if its stopped due to a cut. Give the man his credit, dont add all the what I call "excuse" adjectives when saying who he beat, old, out of shape, injured, lay-off ect ect ect, AND yes I know I am dealing w/ Fact-mongers here.....lol
This post....

 photo lennox-hair_3476731_GIFSoupcom_zps919d29c7.gif
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Duggerman
Administrator
Bumping this thread so Moejoe can see it.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

Apollo
Banned User
In reply to this post by Duggerman
What else is to there to say? I agree with your opening comment pretty much.
Only thing I disagree with is that he just "quite good". I believe Vitali Klitschko was great. He's a true all time great who would've been feared and avoided if he was around in the 1970s. I believe when we talk about Vitali, we have to mention him along Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali, not Primo Carnera - his ability, his chin, his unique physique - it's extraordinary. He's like the Andre the Giant of boxing.
When you watch Vitali vs. Lennox and then watch any championship fight from the 70s, it's almost like you watched fights from two different weight classes.

I wasn't always a Klitschko fan, but I learned to appreciate them as the years went by. Their documentary from last year was astonishing and one of the best productions the sport of boxing has to offer.
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Re: Vitali Klitschko

MAGUIRE
There's a documentary about them? Is it on youtube?
 photo lennox-hair_3476731_GIFSoupcom_zps919d29c7.gif
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