By Jake Donovan
It is often stated that the Klitschko brothers are among the most dominant heavyweights in the history of the sport. It also stands to reason that the well-schooled fighters are also among the most intelligent in and out of the ring.
Wladimir Klitschko knows that a knockout is expected when he faces former cruiserweight king Jean-Marc Mormeck this weekend at the ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany. The bout will mark the fourth defense of the lineal title he earned in scoring a 9th round stoppage of Ruslan Chagaev – at the time the highest rated heavyweight in the world not named Klitschko.
In an alphabet sense, Klitschko (56-3, 49KO) makes the 11th defense of the belt he won in a 2006 title affair with Chris Byrd, dominating the American for the second time in as many tries.
Two weeks after watching older brother Vitali battle an early injury en route to a 12-round decision over Dereck Chisora, the younger Klitschko is aware of the pressure placed upon him to deliver a spectacular performance. Even more since most experts believe the fight to be a mismatch that should end in early and dominant fashion.
The heavyweight king has no problem ensuring that his throng of fans – including the 50,000 or so expected to be on hand in an anticipated sold-out arena.
Where he stops short on his promises is in how exactly the fight will end.
“I will do everything in my power to knock a person out, but I won’t guarantee it,” Klitschko stated when prompted during a media conference call for his prediction on the fight. “I promised a knockout against David Haye and I didn’t deliver. I’m going to do my job.”
Klitschko has been doing his job well for more than seven years. The Ukrainian giant hasn’t lost since 2004, having won 14 straight over that span.
The only thing that has slowed him – or his brother for that matter – during that time is the injury bug. Klitschko, who turns 36 later in March, fought just once in 2009 (against Chagaev) and made just one ring appearance last year in his highly anticipated showdown with Haye.
Even this intended stay busy defense turned out to be anything but that. The bout was originally slated for December 10, only to be forced to pull out after contending with kidney stones. The delay leaves Klitschko with an eight-month gap in between fights and an even greater stretch of inactivity for the 39-year old Mormeck, who hasn’t fought since Dec. ’10.
There are already talks of what lies ahead for the remainder of 2012, with speculation of a return to the United States. Several opponents have been mentioned, as it is common for Wladimir and Vitali to plan ahead in their optimistic pursuit of staying active in the ring with few hiccups along the way.
None of that, he insists, is to be mistaken for losing sight of what presently stands in front of him. First and foremost is looking good against Mormeck – whether it takes 30 seconds or all 12 rounds.
“The worst thing I can do is just lose my focus,” Klitschko says. “I didn’t forget what it was like in 2004. I made my payback after losing to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster to work my way back, but haven’t forgotten about 2004 when I went to the bottom of the sport.
“After the fight we can be more precise and determine what I did. Everything else (beforehand) is just our imagination. I will do my best. The best of course is to win by knockout, best for the fans and my team. So I will do my best.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]