On Saturday evening a 61.000 expectant crowd at Vetlins arena Germany saw IBO , WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko demoralise WBA Champion in recess Ruslan Chagaev before stopping him on his stool after 9 frustratingly hard rounds for the Challenger. Ruslan had never been dropped or beaten previous to this but was both in what emerged as mission impossible for the shorter man. Wlad stamped his authority from the off with a stabbing jab which Chagaev found an uphill struggle to cope with, having to adjust and take risks to get close to the 3 belt Champion Ruslan was caught square in round 2 and dropped with a short right hand counter. It was very evident by round 5 that Ruslan was on a losing effort and his increasingly weathered features showed the tyre marks of the heavygoods he was shipping as he constantly sought a way under, over and around the Klitschko jab. At the end of 9 rounds of absorbing too many thunderous, accurate head shots, Chagaev was saved by trainer Michael Timm who decided to rescue his brave charge. Chagaev took far more punches than expected and showed a lot more heart than any of Wladimirs last handful of opponents. Ruslan offered a very gallant challenge until it became evident that it was mechanically unlikely to be a success for as long as Chagaev tried to figure the Stern Champion's style out. Chagaev looked extremely upset with himself but in no way should be ashamed by his tremendous effort to arrest the trio of belts that Wladimir now seems to have claimed as his own long term property. I have to add though , it was a convincing but uninspiring way to beat a great challenger, as he never truly set the world alight as far as excitement goes. Wladimir boxed a workmanlike punch perfect fight, but is so far in a class of his own these days that he looks almost effortless in defending his titles each time he fights. He boxed conservatively behind his greatest asset (his jab) and on the odd occasion his brave challenger made any headway, peppered his work with stiff right hands and left hooks. It looks now as if its down to hard negotiations to make a fight with outcast challenger David Haye become a reality as the chips are now stacked heavily in Wladimirs favour. Wlad feels that it up to David to prove he is worthy of boxing for the title after so many disappointing twists and turns had constantly aborted the supposed fight. Wlad has made it very clear to Haye that his approach was probably not the best route towards convincing team Klitschko that he is worth the time of day. David now faces a possible big freeze as he may now be made to play the waiting game as Klitschko looks like he may take the more patient and proven contenders that have stood in line in a far more proffessional manner.
Graphically scenic t-shirts may have burned some extremely valuable bridges for David in hindsight, but you can never say never.. We keep a keen eye on negotiations in the near future.