Sunday, July 3, 2011


I am shocked--shocked!--that the most heavily anticipated heavyweight fight of the year--between 6'6" Wladimir "Dr. Steelhammer" Klitschko and 6'3" challenger David "Hayemaker" Haye--turned out to be a disappointment.

Klitschko, a Ukrainian living in Germany, is huge, he weighs about 243 lbs., but he is a very strong, skilled and fit athlete. He fights very carefully, using his pile-driver-like jab to keep opponents out of their range and, once they're thoroughly befuddled, using his killer right hand to knock them out. People criticize him for "boring" fights where he doesn't take chances. But he doesn't need to take chances to win, and I can't blame him.

Haye, a Brit, was an excellent cruiserweight (the next-heaviest weight class) and talked tough about knocking out Klitschko, but failed to do anything besides dodging many of the big guy's punches without punching much in return.

End result: A boring but convincing one-sided victory by Klitschko, and more evidence that nobody outside the Klitschko family (his bigger brother is ranked the #2 heavyweight in the world--they'll never fight each other) can handle them.

There's an interesting argument that there are few world-class American heavyweight boxers nowadays because, for really big athletes, the economics of pro football or basketball are much more rewarding (with, to some extent, less risk of long-term damage) than those of boxing. Big athletes overseas don't always have the same economic calculation, so more of them head into boxing.

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