The Future of Wladimir Klitschko
Heavyweight supremo Wladimir Klitschko puts his vast array of belts (WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO and Ring) on the line this Saturday as he takes on unbeaten American Bryant Jennings. Jennings (19(10)-0-0) earned his shot at the king of the Heavyweight division with a relatively uninspiring split decision win against Mike Perez. Jennings is a very athletic fighter and to some extent still learning his trade in the division.
Bryant Jennings +850
Wladimir Klitschko -2500
(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)
At 6ft3 Jennings is a tall man, but he still lacks in size to Klitschko. Whilst he is a good boxer and capable of keeping busy for the full 12 rounds, he’s little chance of outboxing Klitschko – something which hasn’t ever actually happened. Instead, he will need to take optimism from the various other upsets that have befallen Klitschko in the past. They may have been over a decade ago, but they still happened.
Jennings has an extremely useful uppercut in his arsenal and if there’s one place Klitschko is vulnerable, it’s on the inside. If Jennings can somehow navigate his way past the viciously accurate and powerful jab of Klitschko’s, then he might land a shot and put Klitschko down (providing there’s a ref who is strict on Klitschko’s inside clinching).
Let’s assume the expected happens – as did with the previously unbeaten Pulev – and Jennings gets blasted out of their by one of Klitschko’s ferocious shots. He will only have 1 fight left on his 3 fight deal with HBO, which *should* be against Tyson Fury. Though you can calmly assure yourself that Klitschko will push for a rematch if he is to lose to Fury, is it likely he would have another fight should be become victorious? I certainly think so.
The one thing missing from his current setup is that highly venerated WBC crown currently draped around the waist of America’s Deontay Wilder. To unify ALL the boxing divisions – especially at Heavyweight – would be a truly prodigious task and one that would further mark him down in history as one of the greats at Heavyweight. Klitschko sits at 17 defenses currently, which is 3 behind Larry Holmes and 8 behind Joe Louis. Whilst his style of fighting isn’t quite as widely upheld as Louis or Holmes, it’s difficult not to have some appreciation of his effectiveness and discipline within the ring.
Klitschko may well push on to 20 defenses and then call it a day; he may feel old overnight before that and call it a day. One thing that is for certain is Klitschko really has been a magnificently dominant force within the division and – even at 39 – shows the gulf between elite fighters and decent fighters. Boxing is a prime example of class being permanent, though for me the most wonderful thing about boxing is that all it takes is for Bryant Jennings to land one single punch to make almost all of this article completely irrelevant.