Colourful heavyweight Tyson Fury, an ever-quotable heavyweight with a mouth so full of motor that you have to rewire your dictaphone just to keep up, has confirmed what most suspected… that in a moment of downright kissed-off annoyance at the David Haye non fight fiasco the behemoth called it quits on his career only to go back on that word today, Thursday… he’s back baby, and he’s calling out the division.
Sam Janes – Leicester
Last weekend we saw OnTheBeak’s top two Pound for Pound fighters enter the ring for the first time in 2013, with Floyd Mayweather Jr outclassing Robert Guerrero over 12 after Wladimir Klitschko overpowered and eventually knocked Francesco Pianeta out in the sixth. Both men retained their Ring Magazine titles and further more cemented their status as untouchable in their own weight class.
Press Releases – Sauerland
There is exciting news for Robert Helenius (18-0-0, 11ko) and Kubrat Pulev (17-0-0, 9ko) as both top heavyweight contenders currently hold the number one spot in their respective rankings. After beating former world champions Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peter and Siarhei Liakhovich, the WBO already instated Helenius as their number one fighter in September, last year. However, after the fight for the European Championship against Dereck Chisora in December 2011, the Finn had to take a longer break due to a serious shoulder injury.
On November 10, Helenius gave his successful comeback in Helsinki. After ten rounds, the “Nordic Nightmare” won a unanimous points decision against Sherman “The Tank” Williams – the WBO’s previous number ten. In their latest Rankings, 28-year-old Helenius is back as the number one ranked boxer.
Kubrat Pulev has also been enjoying some very successful months. The prodigy of coach Otto Ramin first laced his gloves as a professional in September, 2009. In his debut fight as a pro, he beat Romanian Florian Benche on points. Since then, the 31-year-old has won every single one of his 17 fights and boasts a perfect record.
The big break came this year after beating Alexander Dimitrenko to claim the European Championship on May 5 in Erfurt, Germany. Another victory followed on September 29, when the Bulgarian took on the 140-Kilo colossus Alexander Ustinov in Hamburg. Hence, the move up to first place of the official IBF (International Boxing Federation) rankings was just a matter of time.
The current WBO and IBF Champion is Wladimir Klitschko. The Ukrainian also holds the WBA Super Champion status. The regular WBA Champion is Alexander Povetkin (25-0-0, 17ko and pictured below), who is signed to Team Sauerland just like Helenius and Pulev.
“The hunt for Wladimir Klitschko is on. First, he will have to face mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. Once that fight has happened, we will see if Klitschko is still the champion,” said a confident Kalle Sauerland.
“We already have one heavyweight world champion in Povetkin. With Robert Helenius and Kubrat Pulev we have two more fighters who [are] capable of taking the belts [from] Klitschko. Added to that, we also have 24-year-old heavyweight hopeful Edmund Gerber in our ranks. But before we can start thinking of anything else, Klitschko has to face Povetkin.”
In boxing terms the year for Team Sauerland ends with Arthur Abraham’s title defense against Mehdi Bouadla on December 15. However, the planning for 2013 has already begun and it will start off with a bang. The legendary Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany will host the all-German affair between current European Champion Eduard Gutknecht (24-1-0, 9ko) and his compatriot and stablemate Juergen Braehmer (38-2-0, 30ko) on February 2.
Gutknecht clinched the EBU title in May, 2011 by a TKO victory in round eight over Britain’s Danny McIntosh. Since then, he successfully defended the championship against Lorenzo DiGiacomo, Vyacheslav Uzelkov and Tony Averlant. The big four governing bodies of boxing all rank the prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner in their top ten.
“It is going to be a great fight,” said 30-year-old Gutknecht. “I am highly motivated for this bout. First of all, it is an all-German affair. Added to that, the winner will get a crack at a world championship. Juergen Braehmer is one of the big names in the world of boxing. I am really looking forward to be facing him inside the ring.”
Former WBO titlist Juergen Braehmer is also full of confidence when he is thinking ahead to the fight. ”I am just excited about getting back into the ring and fighting for my new team for the first time. I know what it feels like to be a European and world champion. My goal is to get back to that level. I have the chance to prove to everybody what I am capable of on
February 2. I want to get back to the top,“ said the 34-year-old, coached by Karsten Roewer.
Chris Meyer, managing director of Sauerland Event: “We are happy to kick off the new year in Berlin. This will be a very exciting fight. Eduard Gutknecht is the current WBC number two, Juergen Braehmer is listed as the number two
by the WBO. February 2 is not just about the highly regarded EBU Light Heavyweight Championship but also the position as the mandatory challenger for the WBO Crown.”
Tickets for the show at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany will be available next week at www.eventim.de.
Alan Dawson – London
The spirit of the late Emanuel Steward was evident at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this evening as his long-time Kronk Gym heavyweight pupil Johnathon Banks secured a jaw-dropping second round knockout over highly-heralded HBO-product Seth Mitchell. On Saturday, November 17, Banks dropped Mitchell three times, won the vacant WBC international title, propelled himself into a final eliminator and punctuated a month that saw him guide Wladimir Klitschko to victory over Mariusz Wach last weekend.
Official verdict: Banks by 2nd Rd KO.
As early as the opening round there were considerable gaps in terms of physicality; namely, Mitchell (25-1-1, 19ko) appeared to have it and Banks (29-1-1, 19ko) didn’t. Midway through the stanza, Mitchell believed he had Banks hurt with a series of thudding shots (with a hook doing the most damage) but Banks showed a great rate of recovery – something one would expect from a fighter who has regularly served as a sparring partner for unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Mitchell attempted to start the second round like he finished the first, rushed in but abandoned defence and leaked jabs from Banks. A strong body shot from Mitchell set up a shocking turn of events as Banks retreated to the ropes, inviting his opponent into a trap, landed a counter combination that left the former Michigan linebacker down on the floor and receiving a count. Dazed and confused, Mitchell made it to his feet but when boxing resumed he fought, rather than looked to survive the round. Banks’s overhand rights were Mitchell’s undoing and Seth slumped hard to the canvas. Again, he rose to his feet but an overhand right dropped Mitchell a third time and the referee waved the bout off, providing Banks with a stunning smash-and-grab upset victory.
“The role of Emanuel Steward played into my life, fighting is my life,” said Banks to HBO after his win. “I want to dedicate this to him because the man loved knockouts and we’re going to miss him.
“I knew I had a very strong and determined guy in front of me. He got a go get em mentality. I felt when I hit him, I hurt him and he didn’t hold like he should have. He grabbed my waist and didn’t tie up my arms. All that’s running through my head is the momentum I got but I’m so thankful for Emanuel Steward, he taught me everything about boxing.”
Alan Dawson – London
On Saturday, November 10 at the 02 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany, Wladimir Klitschko gave Mariusz Wach a beating so sadistically consistent that the latter struggled to even register one point during their duel for the IBF, IBO, WBO, WBA and The Ring Magazine world titles. Klitschko repeatedly landed one-two combinations and had the far greater skillset but, if there is one thing Wach can take credit for, it’s possessing a
stone granite chin.
Official verdict: Wladimir Klitschko wins via unanimous decision.
The noticeable absence of legendary trainer, the late Emanuel Steward, would require something big to offset. Indeed, it was at the forefront of Wladimir Klitschko’s mind… the Ukrainian powerhouse said pre-fight that he feels the spirit of Steward and was relieved he had a fight lined up so he could compete on a stage that he and Emanuel relished for a decade together – world championship boxing. Introduced by Michael Buffer, the motivational nous of Sylvester Stallone and Red Hot Chilli Peppers’s ‘Can’t Stop’ anthem, Wlad’s focus was as intimidating as ever.
Relinquishing the advantages of height, weight and reach to Wach, Klitschko, for the first time in his career, was punching upward. In the first round, however, Wlad showed no signs of discomfort as he rapid-fired his trademark jab into Wach’s mouth and, whenever the Pole dropped his guard, Klitschko was able to power a straight right hand through on target.
With a build-up marred with bad blood, Klitschko had alluded to a desire to punish his adversary… to show no mercy and, as early as round one, it was the defending unified champion who was forcing the action, taking the forward steps, landing accurate and powerful shots.
In round two, Wach rolled the dice and took a gamble. The challenger increased his work-rate at the beginning of round two and during one of his first barrages, he turned Klitschko, landed punches but threw one to the back of the head. By the middle of the stanza, Wlad had started to beat the momentum out of Wach, who continued to struggle to defend himself against the long-reigning heavyweight king’s right hand.
Maintaining his composure, Wladimir beat the sweat off Mariusz’s brow in the third chapter. In the middle rounds, Klitschko’s punch perfect domination over a lesser-skilled fighter continued. Wlad’s footwork was elite, his desire to throw never wavered and while his head movement was subtle, it was damn effective. In comparison, Wach walked with a heavy plod to his step, he did not have fast hands and he did not keep them chin high which allowed Klitschko to pop one, one-two and one-two-three combinations before backing away and keeping his chin out of trouble.
That was, until, the fifth round when Wach caught Wlad and had the Kyiv collosus covering up as he sought to provide a block to the incoming shellacking. During the sixth, though, the Pole couldn’t capitalise on his limited success in the previous stanza and returned the advantage to Klitscko, much like he had done earlier. After half the fight had been contested, Wach’s eyes were considerably reddened and the 6’7.5 contender was breathing heavily.
In the seventh, Klitschko’s range was on point and he beat Wach up with successions of eight punches. One after the other… pushing his chin into his skull, pounding his lips around his mouth as if they were putty, ricocheting rocket-launched right hands off his cheek bones and worsening his eyes with every jab.
The longer the bout wore on, the worse Wach boxed. His defence was weak and leaky at the start of battle but by the eighth it was sieve-like and when Wladimir turned up the heat, Wach was forced to weather a brutal beatdown. The referee, Eddie Cotton could have called the bout off – such was the one-sided nature of Wladimir’s dominance and the timidness of Wach’s attack.
Amazingly, Wach’s corner allowed their ward to get back into the ring for the ninth, yet Mariusz had shown all he could do versus Wladimir and he was yet to win a round (on this author’s card, at least), so there was a clear argument that to spare the challenger further punishment, pulling him out of the bout would have been wise.
Despite his inferior skills, Wach did possess things that Klitschko detractors claim Wladimir lacks – a sturdy chin and durability. Wach survived the tenth, the 11th and in the 12th, ate numerous straight right leads. The Viking took a massive beating… but he did manage to hear the final bell.
The result – one never in doubt – was a unanimous decision in favour of Klitschko, who made a successful 14th straight defence of his current belt collection (WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO).
Photo credit: Michaelsterlingeaton.com
Unified (WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO) heavyweight world championship challenger Mariusz Wach has height, reach and weight advantages over defending champion Wladimir Klitschko at the 02 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, November 10 as the unheralded Pole scaled in at 251lbs to Klitschko’s 247lbs during the official weigh-in earlier today. Wach is almost two clear inches taller than his adversary and has a one inch greater wingspan, also.
Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Photo: Team Klitschko
Dominant IBF/IBO/WBO/WBA heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3-0, 51ko), 36, extended his undefeated run to 16 wins on the spin, incorporating 13 by way of knockout and 12 title defences during that spell as, on Saturday, July 7 at the Stade de Suisse in Berne, Switzerland, he halted mandatory challenger and tall southpaw Tony Thompson (36-3-0, 24ko) in the sixth round.
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Unbeaten American heavyweight hope, the skillful headhunter Seth Mitchell, is banking on hammering in the final nail on Chazz Witherspoon‘s professional boxing coffin as it will further propel him into international stardom and a potential fight with one of the dominant Klitschko siblings; WBC incumbent Vitali and WBA/WBO/IBF unified champion Wladimir. Mitchell boxes Witherspoon on April 28 inside the historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
“To say that I don’t think about [a fight with a Klitschko], I would be lying,” confessed Mitchell, two weeks prior to his highly-anticipated examination with 30-year-old gatekeeper Witherspoon (30-2-0, 22ko).
Mitchell (24-0-1, 18ko) has fast earned a reputation for silky moves and monstrous power, the latter quality, however, has ensured he has oft left the ring in order to go for an early bath as 72 percent of his opponents are separated from their senses. Questions, therefore, have arisen over whether Mayhem can endure 12 rounds; a feat he has yet to accomplish.
“It’s my first time being scheduled for 12 rounds [but] I’m not worried… at all,” the Maryland native said, before explaining how he and his team are readying themselves for 36 minutes of fisticuffs. “We do a lot of our training on a punch count, just picking up my punch, you know, 200 punches a round, 250-260 punches a round, and increasing my sparring rounds.
“I spar 12 rounds straight with various sparring partners coming in and out. Increasing my roll now, just doing the right thing. I’m always a fighter. If you look at my weight, I’ve always come in at a pretty good-because just to stay weight, the heaviest I’ve ever been going up to my average is 243 in 25 fights. I’m not worried about going 12 rounds.”
Mitchell, though, was swift to ensure reporters knew of his “respect for Chazz”. He said: “His record speaks for itself. I consider him to be fundamentally sound. He’s a good technical boxer and he comes to fight. He throws a lot of punches. [It's] just making me sharpen up my game, cross my t’s and dot my i’s.”
On his tactics for the fight, Mitchell disclosed: “I’m not going to go out there reckless. I’m just going to dictate, stay behind my jab. I believe if I put my punches together and stay with my game plan, I could get him out of there but I’m definitely going to be prepared to go hard 12 rounds. I do want to be impressive. I don’t want my knockout streak to stop but at the same time, I’ll go out there to be smart.
“I’m an entertaining fighter… win, lose, or draw, I’m coming to fight and the fans will be entertained. But I definitely… I expect to win. This might be the nail in the coffin for Chazz if he loses this fight, but if I lose this fight, my coffin is going to be in production.
“I’m not ready for my coffin to be in production yet.”
On The Beak – Admin
As Wladimir Klitschko (57-3-0, 50ko) made easy work of his voluntary opponent, Jean Marc Mormeck (36-5-0, 22ko) Saturday, March 3 in Germany, a 6’5, 255 lb heavyweight southpaw was watching from the United States knowing he ‘Got Next’. That man was Tony Thompson (36-2-0, 24ko), the IBF mandatory challenger for Wladamir in a bout to take place no later than mid-July.
“I wasn’t really impressed with either performance,” said Thompson, who has won five knockouts on the trot since his first bout with Wlad, an 11th round kayo in 2008. “It was an infomercial at best. Mormeck is a tough cruiserweight but he’s not an impressive opponent for the heavyweight champion of the world.”
Thompson thought: “It was interesting that it seemed that Wladimir mentioned everyone in the division but me. I knew my shot was next, and I’m doing everything to solely focus on beating him. I just want to fight, point blank. It doesn’t matter to me where it takes place. If he wants to come over here, great. If he wants to fight in Germany thats great too.”
The two fought back in 2008, when Wladimir stopped The Tiger in round 11, making Tony one of only seven fighters to make it to round 11 in the decorated champions 60 fights. But, more importantly, many believe it was the most competitive bout in Wladimir’s last eleven defenses.
Tony is fully recovered from injuries that had prevented him from entering his first bout with Wladimir at 100 percent and, after Eddie Chambers was forced to withdraw from an October fight with Tony, the IBF declared that Thompson had emerged victorious from the four-man gauntlet as the IBF mandatory challenger for the world champion.
“I’m ready,” said Thompson. “I’m done waiting for this part of my life to be over and I’m looking forward to becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.”
Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Pictures: Public Address/Klitschko
Prior to last weekend, unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko had likened challenger Jean-Marc Mormeck‘s work-rate to boxing’s erstwhile badman Mike Tyson but the performance on fight night – March 3 at the ESPRIT Arena, Dusseldorf – mirrored Audley Harrison’s timid display against David Haye in 2010. Klitschko dominated and triumphed by way of fourth round knockout against a gun-shy pugilist dubbed The Marksman.