The Heavyweight division has seen better days in recent memory but that's not to say there are a few bright spots. Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40KOs) has been one for quite sometime. Although his younger brother, Wladimir Klitschko, is considered to be the #1 Heavyweight in the world, many fans (including myself) recognize 40-year-old Vitali as being the very best the division has to offer. The man gives off the impression that he has absolutely no fear in the ring. On Saturday afternoon , the older brother Klitschko took on former Light heavyweight stud Tomasz Adamek (44-2, 28KO's) before a crowd of 42,000 fans in Poland.
The opening bell sounded as Vitali took center of the ring behind his sniper shot jab as Adamek looked small and tentative. Vitali landed a hard right over the top that sent Adamek back. Vitali continued to pepper Adamek with his jab and another hard right that nearly sent his opponent to the canvas. In the second round Vitali established the pace behind his jab until Adamek gained more confidence as he tried to string some punches together. But in classic Vitali Klitschko fashion he hammered Adamek with a thudding right hand that pushed the underdog across the ring in the closing seconds of the round. In the third Vitali chose to counterpunch and he did effectively. Adamek ran in, winging punches at his much taller opponent's chin. Vitali slipped and countered with hard straights accompanied by short left hooks. Adamek continued to throw but most of his attack was blocked.
In the fourth Vitali continued to pump his jab into his opponent's face followed by a quick straight right. Adamek fired back with a right of his own until he ate a huge right by Vitali. Adamek found himself in some heavy exchanges towards the end of the round which saw him land a nice left hook on Vitali's chin but Klitschko just shook it off. Adamek started off the fifth round with a hard left that pushed his opponent back. Vitali went right back to working the jab followed by thudding right hands. Vitali landed a nice body-head combo followed by left hooks and more thudding rights. Adamek was beginning to look very outmatched.
During the sixth round Vitali continued to dominate the action with jabs and uppercuts as he slipped most of Adamek's punches. Two minutes into the round, Vitali landed a huge right hand over the top that sent Adamek into the ropes. The ref scored it a knockdown for Vitali claiming that the ropes held Adamek up as he attempted to regain his senses. Vitali continued to punish Adamek with a strong jab as his opponent began to retreat. At the start of the seventh round Vitali thudded Adamek with another hard right. Adamek looked tentative as Vitali's attack continued. During the eighth round Vitali pumped the jab while stalking. He landed a quick uppercut followed by a hook. Adamek ducked in and tried to throw his jab but Vitali was having none of it. At the end of the round Vitali lost his balance while throwing a punch but it wasn't ruled a knockdown by the ref. Even if it was , it wouldn't matter anyway as Vitali's domination stream rolled through the ninth.
Vitali begun the tenth round with a quick straight right that had Adamek in full-blown survival mode. Vitali landed his jab over and over again with precision and bad intentions. Adamek ate a huge right with about :40 seconds left in the round that had him once again back-peddling to the ropes. The ref had seen enough and called the fight shortly after.
Vitali Klitschko remains as one of the few stars left in the Heavyweight division. His willingness to engage with any man put in front of him makes him THE Heavyweight attraction still, in my eyes.
A fight with his brother's last opponent , David Haye, is in the works apparently. Let's see what happens.
Photo credit – AP