Boring heavyweights?

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Post by azania on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 4:23 pm

Many have said that the heavyweight division is devoid of talent and have boring fighters and fights. Is the criticism warranted? Also is much of the criticism due to the fact that none of the champions are Americans? If the Klits were Americans do you think the heavyweights would be regarded as boring?

Thoughts?

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Post by manos de piedra on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 4:37 pm

Ive always believed that the Kltischkos being Eastern Eropean has been the single biggest reason behind their lack of popularity in the U.S.

The second is lack of decent competition. They have been in one sided fightss. Wlad is probably more deserving of the boring tag as he takes fewer risks and limts himself to a formula more.

Vitali on the other hand has a much better arsenal of punches than hes given credit for. His fights with Sanders and Arreola have shown him using a wide range of punches to both head and body.

I think if the division was competitive then you would see them in better fights. For instance I thought Vitali v Lewis, Vitali v Sanders, Wlad v Peter were all good fights because the opponent was able to have a go.

Put it another way, if Lewis was still around now I cant see his fights with the likes of Ibragimov, Chagaev, Johnson etc being significantly more entertaining.


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Post by fearlessBamber on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 4:39 pm

It does feel a bit boring watching their fights. Lewis was pretty boring to watch most of the time too though.

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Post by azania on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 4:40 pm

manos de piedra wrote:Ive always believed that the Kltischkos being Eastern Eropean has been the single biggest reason behind their lack of popularity in the U.S.

The second is lack of decent competition. They have been in one sided fightss. Wlad is probably more deserving of the boring tag as he takes fewer risks and limts himself to a formula more.

Vitali on the other hand has a much better arsenal of punches than hes given credit for. His fights with Sanders and Arreola have shown him using a wide range of punches to both head and body.

I think if the division was competitive then you would see them in better fights. For instance I thought Vitali v Lewis, Vitali v Sanders, Wlad v Peter were all good fights because the opponent was able to have a go.

Put it another way, if Lewis was still around now I cant see his fights with the likes of Ibragimov, Chagaev, Johnson etc being significantly more entertaining.


If Wlad were American and dominating fighters in the manner he has done, then the Americans would have been singing his praises for being the dominant champion and referring to his boring character outside of the ring as being wholesome, Walton like, family values loving, All American champion.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 4:43 pm

azania wrote:If Wlad were American and dominating fighters in the manner he has done, then the Americans would have been singing his praises for being the dominant champion and referring to his boring character outside of the ring as being wholesome, Walton like, family values loving, All American champion.

I'm not so sure.

It took them long enough to give Larry Holmes his dues.


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Post by Scottrf on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 4:45 pm

If Wlad was American he still wouldn't have been in a good fight since being rolled like a drunk.

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Post by manos de piedra on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 4:48 pm

The Klitschkos came along in the aftermath of some immensely popular U.S fighters and some thrilling rivalries with Bowe/Tyson/Holyfield and then Britains own Lewis.

Even if they were American I still think due to the timing and lack of real threats to them that the U.S would yearn back to the old days of really big competitive fights. But the idea that they have somehow killed boxing when in reality the U.S just arent interested in them is way off.

There is no way that HBO/Showtime would not show them if they were U.S and while many Americans would probably see it as a poor aftermath from the 90s rivalries I still think their criticism would be far less vocal.

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Post by 88Chris05 on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 4:49 pm

I do think that not being American counts against the Klitschkos to a certain degree, but the fact that the division was still mostly frowned upon (even across the pond) when the likes of Ruiz, Byrd and Rahman (all American themselves) held titles in it means that we can't solely attribute it to that. The division was already on the slide and declining in popularity long before the Klitschkos established themselves as THE two best Heavyweights in the world.

Simply put, I think the lack of talent and depth is the primary problem, rather than the dour persona of both the Klitschko boys. Around half of their opponents since they rose to a position of dominance have turned up out of shape and virtually unwilling to fight. The spectacle of the Klitschkos practically toying with such challengers, but still taking a 'no risk' approach, was always going to turn viewers away.

I believe that if Haye blasts Wladimir out in June / July, we'll see the beginning of a revival of Heavyweight boxing, even in the States. The media attention and coverage that the likes of Larry Holmes and Lennox Lewis received shows that you don't have to be a mouthy bloke to sell the division; you just need genuine rivalries (which Haye and Klitschko will be if Haye pulls it off), exciting fights and proper athletes who are willing to go that extra distance. I'm sure that the 'up and coming' or younger generation such as Haye, Povetkin, Solis and so on can match that description better than Peter, Chambers and Arreola thus far have.
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Post by Colonial Lion on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 5:36 pm

The bottom line is that the heavyweight division is a shambles and has been for years. Even in the 90s - a severely overrated decade for me - the division was plagued by boxing politics but kept alive with a handful of big fights and personalities.

It has retreated now almost exclusively to Eastern Europe where the two Klitschkos entertain masses of fans who seem oblivios to the lack of quality or excitement on show.

David Haye will not be the spark that reignited the division. He has neither the talent or inclination to do so. He has been about fleecing as much money as he can before looking forward to a celebrity lifestyle. The future is bleak for the division and I am not particularly enthused at the prospect of watching the Klitschkos leftovers scramble for their own version of the title once they are gone.

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Post by azania on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 5:40 pm

Good point. After the Klits have gone, who is there to take the heavies forward? Step forward Delboy?

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Post by licence_007 on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 7:39 pm

Haye has made it clear he wants to retire in October, so I don't think it matters really what happens in his fight with Wlad when we consider the HW division as a whole. I mean, if Haye destroys Wlad and follows it up with a final victory over Vitali before retiring and vacating the belts, chances are K2 will just pick them up again if they decide to carry on.

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Post by J.Benson II on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 8:34 pm

I'm sure that the 'up and coming' or younger generation such as Haye, Povetkin, Solis and so on can match that description better than Peter, Chambers and Arreola thus far have..

--------------------------

I'm not that sure Chris.
I certainly wouldnt call 270lb Solis a "proper athlete". He has the tools but like Arreola, also seems to have a love for fast food.
Povetkin is no better than Chambers and I would actually bet on Fast Eddie beating him in a re-match.
Realistically, the only potential rivarly in the current division if between Haye and the K's.
The best thing that could occur for boxing is that the Wlad-Haye fight lives up to all the hype and produces a memorable match that lives long in the memory. Perhaps even sparking the beginning of a trilogy. That would definatley get the public interested.

Obviously if Wlad and Vitali were American, there is little doubt that they would be alot more popular stateside. In fact, they'd probably be global celebitries. However, its also worth noting that had they been American, they wouldnt be fighting in the manner they currently do. The K's have been schooled in the Eastern Europeon style of boxing, which although effective, is quite dull and laborious. Had they been born in the States, they would have probably been taught a more entertaining, crowd-pleasing style.

The good news is that there is a new generation of Eastern Europeon boxers that are being taught a more fluid, slick and less mechanical way of fighting. A style designed for the pro game.
The likes of Pirog, Boystov and Bute are amoung this exciting new breed.
If this trend continues, there should still be some cracking fights/fighters to look foward too.
After all, the future of HW boxing probably lies in the Eastern block.

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Post by manos de piedra on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 8:41 pm

J.Benson II wrote:I'm sure that the 'up and coming' or younger generation such as Haye, Povetkin, Solis and so on can match that description better than Peter, Chambers and Arreola thus far have..

--------------------------

I'm not that sure Chris.
I certainly wouldnt call 270lb Solis a "proper athlete". He has the tools but like Arreola, also seems to have a love for fast food.
Povetkin is no better than Chambers and I would actually bet on Fast Eddie beating him in a re-match.
Realistically, the only potential rivarly in the current division if between Haye and the K's.
The best thing that could occur for boxing is that the Wlad-Haye fight lives up to all the hype and produces a memorable match that lives long in the memory. Perhaps even sparking the beginning of a trilogy. That would definatley get the public interested.

Obviously if Wlad and Vitali were American, there is little doubt that they would be alot more popular stateside. In fact, they'd probably be global celebitries. However, its also worth noting that had they been American, they wouldnt be fighting in the manner they currently do. The K's have been schooled in the Eastern Europeon style of boxing, which although effective, is quite dull and laborious. Had they been born in the States, they would have probably been taught a more entertaining, crowd-pleasing style.

The good news is that there is a new generation of Eastern Europeon boxers that are being taught a more fluid, slick and less mechanical way of fighting. A style designed for the pro game.
The likes of Pirog, Boystov and Bute are amoung this exciting new breed.
If this trend continues, there should still be some cracking fights/fighters to look foward too.
After all, the future of HW boxing probably lies in the Eastern block.

I think its a bit of a stretch to to say America is all about teaching a crowd pleasing style.

Mexico, perhaps but the U.S has also produced its fair share of technical and "boring" fighters as well as acknowledging the fundementals of the jab and defence. Hopkins, Mayweather, Whitaker, Ward, Wright etc are not exactly crowd pleasing to the average fight fan. It tends to be the more blood and guts Latino and Hispanic fighters that take that mantle. Wlad himself is trained by Steward.

The Klitschkos just box to their strengths and use their size.


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Post by J.Benson II on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 8:58 pm

manos de piedra -

I agree that not all American boxers are particulary entertaining. However, the top American HW's of the last 20 years have generally produced highly entertaining bouts (Holyfield, Tyson, Bowe, Moorer, Morrison etc.)

The stereotypical Eastern Europeon style is considered to be robotic, upright and mechanical.
Both Wlad and Vitali are excellent boxers, but can also fit those stereotypical descriptions.

With the physical advantages and strength they have, I'd imagine they (Vitali more than Wlad) would have had possessed a style more similar to Riddick Bowe had they been schooled Stateside (ie. a more crowd-pleasing style).

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Post by manos de piedra on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 9:13 pm

J.Benson II wrote:manos de piedra -

I agree that not all American boxers are particulary entertaining. However, the top American HW's of the last 20 years have generally produced highly entertaining bouts (Holyfield, Tyson, Bowe, Moorer, Morrison etc.)

The stereotypical Eastern Europeon style is considered to be robotic, upright and mechanical.
Both Wlad and Vitali are excellent boxers, but can also fit those stereotypical descriptions.

With the physical advantages and strength they have, I'd imagine they (Vitali more than Wlad) would have had possessed a style more similar to Riddick Bowe had they been schooled Stateside (ie. a more crowd-pleasing style).

Well the big part of the problem for me is that they lack the rivals to entertain. How entertaining can a one sided fight be?

Wlad, I think, is naturally a boring fighter who is safety first and will not open up until late on when his opponent has had the will beaten out of him. He had to adapt to a style to protect himself.

Vitali I think is not a naturally boring fighter. There are numerous fights hes had where he has displayed a willingness to trade on his chin, shown a wide variation of punches, attacks the body and head etc. He was in with Lewis and it was a great fight. I would bet if you put him in with a peak Holyfield or Bowe you would also get a great fight.

I would question if someone like Lewis or Bowe was actually more entertaining than Vitali in the fights where they were a clear level up. For example was Bowe v Hide any better than Vitali v Hide? or Bowe v Donald any better than Vitali v Arreola?


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Post by azania on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 9:18 pm

J.Benson II wrote:manos de piedra -

I agree that not all American boxers are particulary entertaining. However, the top American HW's of the last 20 years have generally produced highly entertaining bouts (Holyfield, Tyson, Bowe, Moorer, Morrison etc.)

The stereotypical Eastern Europeon style is considered to be robotic, upright and mechanical.
Both Wlad and Vitali are excellent boxers, but can also fit those stereotypical descriptions.

With the physical advantages and strength they have, I'd imagine they (Vitali more than Wlad) would have had possessed a style more similar to Riddick Bowe had they been schooled Stateside (ie. a more crowd-pleasing style).

I doubt that Vit, no matter how well schooled could ever fight like Riddick Bowe. He may have the finesse of Bruno instead with added tap dancing classes.

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Post by J.Benson II on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 9:34 pm

manos de piedra -

Those are good points.
Ironically, I actually re-watched Vitali's match with Sanders a few weeks back and thought it was quite a cracking fight. This was mainly because Sanders was able to pressure Vitali for the first 3 rounds.

I agree that competitive fights are the most enjoyable and I don't doubt that Vitali Vs Holyfield/Bowe/Ibeabuchi would most likely have been thrilling events.

However, if a fight is one-sided, I think most people would rather it be a spectacular, Tyson style knockout instead of a systematic, Klitschko style breakdown.

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Post by azania on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 9:42 pm

Damn, Ibeabuchi against anyone would have been fun.

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Post by manos de piedra on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 9:47 pm

Yes Tyson is an exception as there are few fighters in history that were as explosive early on as him.

But next to his similar sized contempories like Lewis or Bowe I dont really see Vitali as being more boring aside from the fact that hes really lacked the opposition to give him a good fight. The few times he has been pushed I think the fights have been entertaining and if you compare his fights with Donald or Hide to the ones Bowe had with them I dont see them as being any less entertaining really. Just similar one sided affairs.

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Post by azania on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 9:53 pm

manos de piedra wrote:Yes Tyson is an exception as there are few fighters in history that were as explosive early on as him.

But next to his similar sized contempories like Lewis or Bowe I dont really see Vitali as being more boring aside from the fact that hes really lacked the opposition to give him a good fight. The few times he has been pushed I think the fights have been entertaining and if you compare his fights with Donald or Hide to the ones Bowe had with them I dont see them as being any less entertaining really. Just similar one sided affairs.

I think its because the Klits are boring people devoid of any real charisma (although wlad has a healthy looking missus - all credit to him).

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Post by manos de piedra on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 10:01 pm

azania wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:Yes Tyson is an exception as there are few fighters in history that were as explosive early on as him.

But next to his similar sized contempories like Lewis or Bowe I dont really see Vitali as being more boring aside from the fact that hes really lacked the opposition to give him a good fight. The few times he has been pushed I think the fights have been entertaining and if you compare his fights with Donald or Hide to the ones Bowe had with them I dont see them as being any less entertaining really. Just similar one sided affairs.

I think its because the Klits are boring people devoid of any real charisma (although wlad has a healthy looking missus - all credit to him).

Maybe not to the Americans or the Brits but they must be doing something right if they can sell out stadia in Mainland Europe and generate huge interest over there in a heavyweight division that is low on quality.

They probably have a bigger fanbase than Haye or even Lewis had.

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Post by azania on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 10:06 pm

manos de piedra wrote:
azania wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:Yes Tyson is an exception as there are few fighters in history that were as explosive early on as him.

But next to his similar sized contempories like Lewis or Bowe I dont really see Vitali as being more boring aside from the fact that hes really lacked the opposition to give him a good fight. The few times he has been pushed I think the fights have been entertaining and if you compare his fights with Donald or Hide to the ones Bowe had with them I dont see them as being any less entertaining really. Just similar one sided affairs.

I think its because the Klits are boring people devoid of any real charisma (although wlad has a healthy looking missus - all credit to him).

Maybe not to the Americans or the Brits but they must be doing something right if they can sell out stadia in Mainland Europe and generate huge interest over there in a heavyweight division that is low on quality.

They probably have a bigger fanbase than Haye or even Lewis had.

Otke sold out arenas and he wasn't particularly exciting.

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Post by manos de piedra on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 10:13 pm

azania wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:
azania wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:Yes Tyson is an exception as there are few fighters in history that were as explosive early on as him.

But next to his similar sized contempories like Lewis or Bowe I dont really see Vitali as being more boring aside from the fact that hes really lacked the opposition to give him a good fight. The few times he has been pushed I think the fights have been entertaining and if you compare his fights with Donald or Hide to the ones Bowe had with them I dont see them as being any less entertaining really. Just similar one sided affairs.

I think its because the Klits are boring people devoid of any real charisma (although wlad has a healthy looking missus - all credit to him).

Maybe not to the Americans or the Brits but they must be doing something right if they can sell out stadia in Mainland Europe and generate huge interest over there in a heavyweight division that is low on quality.

They probably have a bigger fanbase than Haye or even Lewis had.

Otke sold out arenas and he wasn't particularly exciting.


Maybe he did. He certainly wasnt as popular as the brothers though. My point was more to suggest that I think in their own part of the world the two brothers are seen as pretty charasmatic in their own right and are immensely popular. That it doesnt translate to the U.S is not neccessarily to say they are not charasmatic.

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Post by azania on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 10:16 pm

Maybe not as popular as the K2 but heavies pull in the crowd.

As for me, I prefer boxers to be off the wall. They're not role models but fighters. All this humble stuff winds me up. I doubt if it is even sincere.

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Post by manos de piedra on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 10:23 pm

I think its pretty sincere. They have recieved high recognition for humanitarian work, political involvement and so forth. They seem to be good guys overall.

Probably not what you want if you are looking for a Mike Tyson character but I can see why they are popular and seen as good champions in Europe.

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