By Keith Idec
Wladimir Klitschko seemed somewhat amused that Mariusz Wach was having some fun at his expense.
Unfortunately for Wach, he’ll have to pay for it in the ring Saturday night in Hamburg, Germany. The undefeated challenger from Poland is unbeaten, yet widely disparaged as an opponent in entirely over his head against Klitschko, despite that he stands 6-7.
The 6-6, 245-pound Klitschko’s optional title defense against Wach (27-0, 15 KOs) is commonly considered such a complete mismatch that Las Vegas casinos and Internet sports books aren’t even posting odds on the 12-round bout (4:30 p.m. ET/PT; EPIX).
Wach’s record appears impressive on paper, but it has been built mostly against journeyman and aged opponents so far beneath Klitschko’s elite level that he seemingly has little business being in the ring with Klitschko (58-3, 50 KOs). The 36-year-old Klitschko will fight for the first time in many years without legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, who died Oct. 25 in his corner, but the huge Ukrainian hardly seems worried about beating the 32-year-old Wach.
“We had an open workout [Wednesday], with Mariusz Wach and his coach making a little fun by putting my face on the pads and hitting my face many times,” Klitschko said. “It was something that was entertaining to watch. However, in the ring on Saturday, Nov. 10, he will face the real Wladimir Klitschko, not just images on the pads.”
That’s when Wach likely will encounter insurmountable trouble. That didn’t stop the typically cordial Klitschko from playing promoter, though.
“I think it is going to be a real exciting fight because Wach has the spirit of a young man that wants to become world champion,” Klitschko said. “He is very self-confident and I am expecting him to be better than he usually can be because that is his motivation, his chance to be world champion and I am expecting a very good fight from Wach.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.