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24 JULY 2014

 

The Good Doctor


Klitschko on the attack against Thompson(pic Hogan Photos)
Klitschko on the attack against Thompson(pic Hogan Photos)

By John Lumpkin

Wladimir Klitschko defeated Tony Thompson this past weekend in a manner that can best be described as a relatively good performance. It was a vastly better show than his previous outing and rather entertaining in spots, yet even Klitschko knew that it was not enough to earn him the respect of THE heavyweight champion. This respect he seeks is a peculiar thing when you consider the man. Think about it. Wladimir Klitschko is an Olympic champion, a two time world champion in the heavyweight division, wealthy beyond what most of us can imagine, and he holds a doctorate. There are few people on this planet that can claim that level of personal success. By any definition, he is a winner and a champion. What makes him special is despite all of these accomplishments, he is still striving for more.

Klitschko, of course, is not alone in his quest for respect. It is a common theme amongst boxers with talent that have achieved a degree of success and some notoriety. Many are often confused by their failure to gain public acceptance as they frequently have a misguided sense of entitlement. This is not the case with Klitschko and we should be thankful for it. He understands that despite his immense popularity in his home country that not everyone is sold on his capabilities. And more importantly, he understands that the onus is on him to make the improvements.

This past weekend, we were treated with a glimpse of what Klitschko could be. It was the first time in a long time that we saw him work to break down an opponent, take shots, and maintain his stamina levels. There was actually a fight for as long as it lasted and Klitschko did not fold. It was a big step in his development and an important one to establishing him as a champion in our hearts and minds. This being said, it must be pointed out that respect still needs to be earned. Tony Thompson gave a good account of himself, but it was clear that he lacked the tools to truly test Klitschko.

We want to see Klitschko raise his game to produce the same level of dominance he showed against Thompson over a much greater threat and credible challengers exist that can provide that opportunity. With good performance, Klitschko could be just one or two crucial victories away from our admiration. If he takes in the lessons from his past several fights and applies them going forward, we may see him achieve the ultimate prize in boxing as THE heavyweight champion. It is a title that never leaves and one we desperately want to bestow. Are you with us Dr. Klitschko?

July 15, 2008


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