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The Klitschko Brothers' Opponents Aren't Trying


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A Compendium Of People Saying The Klitschko Brothers' Opponents Aren't Trying


By putting this all in one place, I hoped it would illustrate the goofiness: With a quick search of the 'net, I found writers or broadcasters claiming that 10 of the 11 opponents of Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko since 2008 weren't trying to win. You can read it all after the jump.


I've always maintained that such a massive failure of effort is unlikely. Here those guys are, in the biggest fights of their lives, knowing that an upset win would turn them into overnight sensations in line for massive paydays after toppling one of the two best heavyweights in the world. Yet every one of them -- except Albert Sosnowski, per my quick web search -- has been accused of not even wanting that.


More likely? The Klitschkos are so good they make everyone LOOK LIKE they're not trying. Their finely-honed styles are simple -- jab, big right hand, little else -- and maybe that's deceptive. Maybe it creates the illusion that if someone just gave it a little more "oomph," that boxer could beat one of the Klitschkos. Furthermore, the key element of what they do is to neutralize people. You can try one thing, or you can try another, or you can try another, but none of it has worked for the past nearly three years. Nothing like getting neutralized to make one look like he doesn't want it bad enough.


So you'll see people say, as they did about Shannon Briggs this past weekend, that if only he had jabbed more, he might have had a chance against Vitali. But he was trying to jab. It's arguably the main thing he did. He just couldn't land the jab, and in the meantime, he was getting pounded in return.




The Klitschkos are simply too good compared to everyone else out there right now, and there's no one on the horizon who poses much of a threat. There's no real other explanation. Maybe some of their opponents have tried harder than others, but no way 10 of them didn't try at all.


The Klitschkos are tall, but some of their opponents have been tall, too; they just know how to use it better than everyone else. They knock almost everyone out (together, 87 knockouts in 96 wins), and while they do it more by wearing their victims down than via one-punch shots, you don't knock almost everyone out unless you can really punch. They are almost always faster than their opponents. Defensively, their reflexes are tremendous, Vitali a bit more so than Wladimir, who relies on illegal tactics like holding out his left hand in a stiffarm move or clinching, but hey, he gets away with it, so it works. Their timing is uncanny -- you can try to jab with them, but their jab will get their first, and more frequently, and end up making yours evaporate.


And if somehow you come up with something that gets past that, they'll adjust immediately, so they're smarter than everyone else, too. Some pretty good trainers have gone head-to-head with the Klitschkos and their trainers Emmanuel Steward and the unsung Fritz Sdunek: Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Orlando Cuellar, etc. None of them have figured out a way to beat the Klitschkos yet.


One of the Klitshkos may be beaten someday, although it's hard to imagine how. But whoever manages it won't have been the first one to bother trying.


Now, your compendium of mostly wrong-headed claims of inadequate effort:



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The Klitschko's are very good at what they do, but it's a fact, many heavyweight challengers over the last few years haven't been very ambitious at all.


Rahman, Briggs, Chambers, Peter and Thompson were some of the worst.


Also, fighters like Rahman, Briggs, Mercer should have been fought years ago and not once they were well over the hill.

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