Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Brothers K - The Trouble With Two at Heavyweight

By Cliff Rold

It doesn’t feel true but it probably is.

If 39-year old former World Cruiserweight Champion Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KO) defeats reigning 35-year old World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KO) this Saturday, it’s the biggest Heavyweight upset these eyes have ever seen.

Bigger than Douglas-Tyson.

Bigger than Rahman-Lewis.

Big.

It’s so not going to happen. 

For the last two weeks, fans have been treated to good and better among the big men.  Over the last year, with the rise of Tyson Fury, Robert Helenius, Dereck Chisora, and the rise in weight of Marco Huck, Heavyweight has received an infusion of excitement not seen in years. 

Klitschko-Mormeck doesn’t look like part of that equation.

On paper, this is one of the worst Heavyweight championship fights ever made.  Ignore Mormeck’s previous accomplishments.  They were long enough ago to merit irrelevance in sizing up what’s coming.  Mormeck last mattered in 2007, scoring an early knockdown in defense of the 200 lb. crown before succumbing to a knockout at the hands of David Haye.

Out of the ring for two years, he returned in 2009 with an eight round decision win.  He’s won twice since, both in 2010, by decision against Fres Oquendo and Timur Ibragimov.  The latter victory came via split decision.  Now, with another year and change of inactivity, he’ll try to cap his career in pursuit of the ultimate crown.

It will be head scratching to some that he’s even in this position.  Certainly his modest win streak doesn’t scream ‘title shot.’  Unlike Douglas and Rahman, he’s nowhere near his physical prime nor does he boast similar heavyweight credentials coming in. 

It looks about as competitive as Marvis Frazier’s challenge of Larry Holmes.  And yet, fights like Holmes-Frazier point to the why of this contest and alleviate the need for cranial scraping.

Yes, the excitement level of the division is improving.  The twin pillars of dominance at the top remain the same.  Heavyweight is the Klitschko’s and everyone else.  Sometimes, everyone else gets thin.

Klitschko-Mormeck points to the problem with two.

Dominant Heavyweights lacking in quality foes is nothing new.  Joe Louis cut through the division like a knife through butter and found himself left with men like Tony Musto, Gus Dorazio, Red Burman, Johnny Paycheck, and Al McCoy.  Holmes had the likes of Frazier and Lucien Rodriguez. 

To be sure, there were more legitimate contenders for both.  Louis still had Billy Conn, Buddy Baer, and Abe Simon.  Holmes found threat in Carl Williams and Tim Witherspoon.  Neither dealt with the sort of stacked fields Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, or Evander Holyfield did in their times.  It, in part, aided the length of their runs. 

Heavyweight, which has always had serious peaks and valleys of talent, has often had a trade off.  We can get depth or we can get dominance.  Rarely do both occur at the same time.

The Klitschko’s longevity means they may stick around long enough to go from peak to valley to peak in terms of the overall quality of their field.  For now, while new faces rise, while new contenders grow into the willingness to challenge…

…well, we get Klitschko-Mormeck. 

Sure, a case can be made Wladimir could find a better foe than what’s on tap.  It ignores that better might not want it.  Men like Denis Boytsov and Kubrat Pulev aren’t ready.  Alexander Povetkin hasn’t been willing.

What’s left is shared.

Unlike Louis, the Klitschko’s have to wade through shallow waters and split what occasional interesting challenges emerge.  Holmes didn’t quite have the same problem as Louis due to the title being split during his reign, leaving many better Heavyweights scrambling to make name and cash without him.  However, none of those other beltholders ever emerged as a dominant contemporary and he beat many of them before they got belted. 

No one has ever had a situation like the Klitschko’s do right now.  Dereck Chisora proved a compelling challenge for Vitali and likely would be for Wladimir as well.

Chisora could only fight one two weeks ago.

It’s a reflection of how thoroughly the Klitschko’s have lapped the field since the retirement of Lennox Lewis and how, sometimes, they actually play against each other in defining themselves historically.  While Wladimir was battering recognized and well regarded (in this time) top ten contenders Ruslan Chagaev, Eddie Chambers and Samuel Peter, Vitali was left with Albert Sosnowski, a long past sell date version of Shannon Briggs, and undefeated underachiever Odlanier Solis.

Last year, they split the two best Cruiserweights of recent years in Haye and Tomasz Adamek.  It was, at least, a chance for both to have foes fans wanted to see them against at the same time.   
 
Were there only one Klitschko at the top, the chaff could be cut from the wheat.  Arguments against the quality of their opposition could be quieted somewhat in that environment.  Because the division is perceptually down, neither would be likely to get full credit for their careers until near the end regardless.  However, if one or the other had, say, Haye and Adamek, it would be better for them personally than having to play the game of either/or.

It’s not an indictment of the Klitschko’s.  It is an observation of their uniqueness and it works both as positive and negative.  Between the two of them, they have five losses.  Vitali has Chris Byrd and Lennox Lewis.  Wladimir has Ross Purrity, Corrie Sanders, and Lamon Brewster.  Of those, four have been avenged.  Only one piece of vengeance came by the hand of the defeated man.

Wladimir won his return against Brewster.  His other losses were handled by Vitali while Wladimir busted Byrd up twice over.  They both whaled on Peter.  That brotherly ability to share has been a big part of their allure. 

As 2012 goes forward, there’s a chance we could see Vitali-Haye and Wladimir-Chisora develop.  Neither would be a Mormeck or Briggs type affair in their build or regard and play into the strength of their twin reign, play into the desire of fans to compare and contrast the two.  For the business of the Klitschko’s, that can be a blessing. 

This weekend, we see the curse as well.  Wladimir finds the cupboard temporarily bare.  There’s just not always enough to go around. 

The Weekly Ledger

But wait, there’s more…

A Surprising ShoBox: http://www.boxingscene.com/jessie-vargas-stays-focused-despite-foul-fest-vegas--49967
Burgos Slips by Cruz:
http://www.boxingscene.com/burgos-overcomes-cruz-win-perez-shocks-santana--49963    
Huck Almost Had Him:
http://www.boxingscene.com/huck-broner-alexander-review-ratings-update--50035  
Updated Division Ratings:
http://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings
Picks of the Week: http://www.boxingscene.com/boxingscenecoms-television-picks-week--50067

Cliff’s Notes… Wrestlemanla 28 is so gonna’ rule…Who cares about the split in a fight that isn’t happening?  Mayweather-Cotto is coming.  So is Pacquiao-Bradley.  No need to let the very good be the enemy of nothing…Dereck Chisora is banned from fighting for WBC belts?  Whatever.  Wladimir doesn’t have a WBC belt does he?  Chisora should laugh to the bank first chance he gets…While there is no problem here with a Nonito Donaire-Cristian Mijares clash this summer, one wonders why Donaire is in this pattern.  He moves up, beats someone in class, and then looks to foes better served at earlier divisions.  But, hey, surely the name Nishioka will keep coming up as deflection, right?  Never seen this record before...Roman Gonzalez versus Ramon Garcia?  Yeah, that’s some quality at 108 lbs. 

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by crold1 on 03-01-2012

[QUOTE=Mikhnienko;11842938]I got to disagree, i think their opposition since Vitali has returned is rather close. Gomez, Arreola, Solis, Adamek, Chisora are all very worthwhile names to have on a resume. The Mormeck fight is a travesty obviously but you could…

Comment by Mikhnienko on 03-01-2012

[QUOTE=Tiozzo;11840899]It doesn't hurt the bros as much as one might think that they have to split the little (worthy) challengers they have. Also, having 2 bros sitting atop the big men division has never been seen before and is very…

Comment by crold1 on 03-01-2012

[QUOTE=Tiozzo;11840899]It doesn't hurt the bros as much as one might think that they have to split the little (worthy) challengers they have. Also, having 2 bros sitting atop the big men division has never been seen before and is very…

Comment by Tiozzo on 03-01-2012

It doesn't hurt the bros as much as one might think that they have to split the little (worthy) challengers they have. Also, having 2 bros sitting atop the big men division has never been seen before and is very…

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 03-01-2012

Donaire is in this pattern because Top Rank is his promoter.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Dela Torre Vows To Bounce Back After Loss To Nyambayar Evander Holyfield Helps Boxing Take Major Fighter Safety Strides David Price: I Felt Joshua Would Wipe Wilder Out - Not Anymore Shawn Porter: I'm Ready For Keith Thurman as Soon as Possible! Custio Clayton vs. Carlos Molina on Saunders vs. Lemieux Card Jacobs: I Saw in Golovkin's Eyes at The End, He Was a Beaten Man Wilder: Joshua Wants One More Payday Before Fighting Me Amir Khan Under Fire, Old Tweet Comes Back To Haunt Him Guillermo Jones Edges Perea For WBA Belt, Carlos Adames Wins Sergio Martinez Feels Brian Castano Should Stay Away From Lara Oscar Valdez's Manager To Meet With Top Rank, Discuss Big 2018 Constantin Bejenaru vs. Thabiso Mchunu - Undercard Information Tete's 11-Second KO of Gonya Quickest Ever in World Title Fight Kell Brook Backs Conor Benn To 'Carry The Flag' at Welterweight Joseph Parker Budges: I'll Take 35% To Fight Anthony Joshua Max Ornelas Gets Lopsided Win at WinnaVegas Casino Photos: Julian Williams Beats a Very Game Ishe Smith in Las Vegas Carl Frampton: The Team Can Decide My Next Opponent Gilberto Ramirez: I Must Be Better With Ahmed Than in Hart Fight Eleider Alvarez Gives The Latest on Adonis Stevenson Situation Kovalev Explains Why Leaving Jackson Was The Right Move Frank Warren: Frampton At Windsor Park Coming Next Summer Barker: Wilder Will Have Tough Time With Joshua's Skill Set Video: Julian Williams on Ishe Smith Win, Reacts To Trout, More Photos: Anthony Dirrell Edges Denis Douglin in Tough Bout Video: Austin Trout Talks Canelo-Golovkin, Williams, Hurd, More Video: Trainer Breaks Down Julian Williams Win Over Ishe Smith Bellew: I Can 100% Beat Parker, No Way Can He Deal With Joshua! De La Hoya: I Won't Chase McGregor, The Challenge Was Made! Mike Gavronski Wins WBA Regional Title, Beats Hernandez Oscar Vasquez, Gabriel Flores, Bruno Escalante Win in Reno Bryant Cruz Stops Luna: Micah, Lawson Pick Up Wins Deontay Wilder - From Mild-Mannered To Motormouth Ishe Smith: I Fought My Ass Off, The Judges Saw What They Saw De La Hoya: Canelo vs. Golovkin Rematch Will "Definitely Happen" Julian Williams Wins Tough Decision Over Ishe Smith Julian Williams vs. Ishe Smith - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Lionell Thompson Drops, Shocks Earl Newman With Points Win Tugstsogt Nyambayar Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Dela Torre De La Hoya on McGregor: It Took Mayweather 10, I Only Need 2!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement