SecondsOut breaks down the matchup and figures out who will win
By: Mike Sloan: Tonight marks the return to action of Wladimir Klitschko, one-half of the best heavyweight tandem on the planet and one of the best big men of the past decade. Every time the hulking Ukrainian fights, it’s a massive deal, particularly across Europe and this time around shouldn’t be any different. But unlike brother Vitali who dispatched the massively overmatched Dereck Chisora, Wladimir actually could wind up the loser.
Standing across from Dr. Steelhammer is France’s Jean-Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs), a man who used to be one of the finest cruiserweights of the past ten or so years. Though his resume is solid with some quality victories, the reality is that Mormeck needs to fight the perfect fight to offset Klitschko’s style and score what would be classified as a major upset.
The ESPRIT Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany will be filled to its gills and Klitschko is the prohibitive favorite going into the contest. At first blush it appears as though Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) should steamroll Mormeck, though the former cruiser titlist’s name recognition might make some experts and slightly-more-than-casual fans think twice. Luckily SecondsOut.com is here to break down the duel in an effort to figure out who will have his hand raised. Read on:
Punching power: Mormeck can crack, there’s no two ways around it. However, he doesn’t possess the sort of debilitating power in his fists like Klitschko. Also, with Mormeck being the shorter fighter, he’ll have to find a way inside to land his bombs. Klitschko’s telephone pole of a jab should keep him away and off-balance, thus thwarting much of Mormeck’s assaults. This Klitschko has been kayoed in the past, unlike Vitali, and it’s thought that he has a weak chin. That’s not entirely true, but Mormeck does punch hard enough to send the Ukrainian onto Queer Street. Still, when it comes to a comparison of power, Klitschko wins. Advantage: Klitschko
Speed: Klitschko utilizes deft footwork and clever angles to land his punches. He’s a mammoth in the ring and he always looks slow and plodding, though his punches are precise and short. And more importantly, his shots come in straight as an arrow. Mormeck is the smaller man and throws quality combinations. His punches are slightly more telegraphed than Klitschko, but he’s quick for his size. Still, he’s up there in age, heavier than usual and is slowing down. Advantage: Klitschko
Size: Klitschko is as tall as the average NBA basketball player, but heavier. His arms are like tree branches he uses his size better than almost anybody else. Mormeck isn’t quite six feet tall and his reach is almost a full foot shorter. This one’s not even close. Advantage: Klitschko
Age factor: Klitschko is 35, Mormeck is almost 40. Mormeck has won three straight bouts but none of those wins (at heavyweight) are what anybody considers superb notches on his belt. Klitschko is better, bigger and younger by almost five full years. Advantage: Klitschko
Chin: This one could go either way because Klitschko has been knocked into next week a few times in his career. However, those losses came at heavyweight and one came when he was totally gassed out. Mormeck had his block knocked off twice and those KOs came at cruiserweight. If either man gets hit clean and hard, the fight’s probably over. Still, Klitschko’s massive size will benefit him on top of the fact that Mormeck hasn’t fought someone with this sort of power. Advantage: Klitschko
Experience: Like brother Vitali against Chisora (except nowhere near as egregious), this one’s a no contest. Klitschko has fought every single top contender and challenger of his era and beaten them all, for the most part. Mormeck has taken on some very strong opponents, but only a handful is considered at or near the elite level. Klitschko fights in these major events on a regular basis, Mormeck doesn’t. Huge advantage: Klitschko
Intangibles: Mormeck has much more to prove and nowhere near as much to lose than Klitschko. In reality, almost no pressure should be on Mormeck because he’s supposed to lose. As for Klitschko, he can’t afford to slip up because that mega fight in the heavyweight division against--… Wait, forget that last part. Does Klitschko really have anything major to look forward to after this fight? He’ll just keep his lunch pail by his side and his shovel sharpened for another day at the office. Advantage: Klitschko
The bottom line: If Klitschko loses, it’ll be a major upset. Mormeck’s best chance of winning is to catch the lurching future Hall of Famer napping and take him out. That’s likely not to come close to happening. Mormeck will probably try and bully his opponent around and gun for an early knockout. But once Klitschko weathers the storms and figures out his foe, he’ll systematically break him down and cautiously dominate him. Mormeck might get dropped late but he won’t get taken out. It won’t be as sleep-inducing as Klitschko’s last fight (against David Haye) but it won’t be the second coming of Graziano-Zale, either. Klitschko will win a comfortable unanimous decision. Bank on it.
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March 3, 2012