Blogs & Opinion


Wladimir Klitschko: Heavyweight star could struggle without Vitali

Features Posted 9th January 2014 view comments

Wladimir Klitschko stands above every other heavyweight at the moment - but I feel he will be hit hard by his brother's retirement.

Although the Klitschkos have earned lots of individual success, they were always together and have been a team from their amateur days through to their multiple world-title fights.

That was a massive psychological barrier for the brothers' opponents to overcome; it was almost like you were boxing the pair of them as there were two Klitschkos at press conferences, in training and on fight nights.

Brothers in arms: Wladimir (L) relied on Vitali, says Glenn

Brothers in arms: Wladimir (L) relied on Vitali, says Glenn

Now, though, the immovable object that was the Klitschko brothers has gone and it's just Wladimir flying solo, so I think his rivals will take confidence from that and believe they have a better chance of winning without Vitali peering down on them.

I reckon being a one-man band will take a bit out of Wladimir, who has done everything in the world of boxing and may now want to pursue some outside projects like his brother.

I can conceivably see Fury, who is young and concentrating on his boxing, becoming world champion this year.

Glenn McCrory
Quotes of the week

I think he SHOULD still be at the top at the end of 2014 but I am not certain that he WILL be.

Champion

With Vitali vacating the WBC title to move into politics, the door is open for someone to not only become a world champion but to become a big name and the next big star of the division.

Chris Arreola will fight Bermane Stiverne for the belt Vitali held but those two and the rest of the current heavyweights are all much of a muchness so there is a chance for someone to stand out from the pack.

And I think that man could be Tyson Fury.

I can conceivably see Tyson becoming world champion this year; he is young - at 24, he has years on the likes of Arreloa, Stiverne, Kubrat Pulev and Tomasz Adamek - while he is also strong, building a reputation and concentrating on his boxing.

Around the build up to his fights with David Haye - which, of course, were both cancelled due to injuries for David - Fury conducted himself excellently, showing character, humour and a desire to push on to new heights.

Dereck Chisora has turned over a new leaf, too - his improvement has really impressed me - but I would like to see his heavily-rumoured rematch with Fury put on the backburner as I want Tyson to fight the winner of Arreola-Stiverne.

Chisora has made a good comeback from his indiscretions but Fury was ready to fight a former world heavyweight champion in Haye and it wasn't his fault that that didn't happen, so I think he is slightly above Dereck at this time.

That would leave Dereck free to box Lucas Browne - a big, strapping, unbeaten Ricky Hatton-managed Australian, who has had words with Fury on Twitter and who we saw beat Richard Towers live on Sky Sports in November.

Personality

Elsewhere, we have three good, young American talents to keep an eye on in Deontay Wilder, Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell, especially Wilder, who seems to like portraying himself as a bad boy of boxing.

That personality will always get you noticed - not always for the right reasons, mind you - while he is big, tall, yet to lose and made very light work of Audley Harrison, so he will think he is right in the mix for a world-title shot.

I would love to see Wilder and Fury fight it out for world honours later down the line - once Wilder is known by more than just diehard boxing fans - because a match between two hungry, up-and-coming powerhouses is box office and deserves to be for a title.

For us British fans, though, Anthony Joshua's development will be intriguing

I think you can move him up pretty rapidly because as an Olympic champion he is laced with skills, but he is still a baby in heavyweight terms so I don't expect his people to be flinging him towards a world title too soon.

Yet, if you are good enough to win super-heavyweight gold in the Olympics you should not be too far away from fighting for belts.

Comments (9)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Peter Harrison says...

I would have to disagree with Glenn's assumption, that Wladimir will struggle to carry on the legacy. Firstly, his legacy has already been sealed. He has the 2nd most number of title defences in history. Second, he is all about the sweet science, the art of hitting, without getting hit. And third. There ain't a heavyweight out there who can beat him. As a Brit myself, I want to see the progression of heavyweight boxing. But the current lot, excluding Anthony Joshua, don't fare very well. Joshua, like Wladimir, is an Olympic Gold medallist, and an excellent amateur, and if he can take a piece out of Lewis, or Wladimir's book, then he will go very far. The Klitschko brothers have been excellent ambassadors for the heavyweight division. We all hear from the casual fans, that it's no longer 'entertaining'. However, on technical boxing ability alone, Wladimir stands tall above everyone else. And I guarantee, once the great Klitschko retires, you will see an even weaker era, a division where the alphabet belts are passed around like candy. And that's not a division I want to see. At least now, the belts are being held by a world class athlete, with an exemplary amateur pedigree. Long live Wladimir, and enjoy him while we can....

Posted 02:55 15th January 2014

Matt Hughes says...

I do not rate fury at all , who has he fought? He's another one of the typical British boxers who has a great record on paper but when it comes to the crunch he will lose badly , it's the brutal truth for those of you who think he will win a title! Boxing has turned bad over the years,boxing seems to be about building a good record by knocking out journey men and getting a shot at a belt, there seems to no proper ranking system it's about who offers up the most money,and there are to many belts in the divisions there should be one per divison, there is no passion to be the best boxer it's all about being the richest , quote me if I am wrong!

Posted 12:32 11th January 2014

Ben Lockwood says...

Can't agree with the three American prospects tipped here. Wilder definitely, but Mitchell and Banks have both performed really badly against each other and don't have the skills to keep up with the too six boxers in the division. I would have been tipping Perez over these two, and I still think Marco Huck is someone to be considered up at heavyweight. Chisora needs to go after Wladamir and leave Fury to go after the vacated title once it's found a home.

Posted 01:16 11th January 2014

Paul Keohane says...

In my view Tyson Fury is not in the running, he should not be in the top 15.........He hasn't got the hand speed or skill level to trouble Wilder.........Glenn, I agree with you about Wilder but I will go one stage further............Mark my words, he will be the next big name in the heavyweight division. Comments please.........

Posted 17:50 10th January 2014

Martin Dronfield says...

Its a sad state of affairs when Tyson Fury is tipped for the world heavyweight title, rewind 10 years, Lewis, Tyson, Bowe, Holyfield, it would have been a different story. Poor fighter in a poor age for boxing.

Posted 11:02 10th January 2014

Vincent Doyle says...

I think we will see Haye make a miraculous recovery from his shoulder injury now the WBC belt is floating about. Arreola will fight Stivern. Tyson will fight Arreola. Haye will fight Tyson.

Posted 09:40 10th January 2014

John Skinner says...

The only 2 real box office, up and coming heavyweights are Fury and Wilder. Would be good to see those two meet later on in 2014 with a title at stake!

Posted 19:37 9th January 2014

Adam Fox says...

Couldn't agree more with you Glenn. A good piece with a lot of food for thought on who should face who in eliminators for a wold title shot.

Posted 18:11 9th January 2014

Neal Morgan says...

I agree 100% with what you say, I personally think wladimir will only have 2-3 more fights before he calls it a day. Regarding the british scene, i think fury is 2 fights away from a title shot, he needs to get through his next fight (unnamed oppoent as of yet) . then he can fight the winner of Arreola-Stiverne the for the right to face wlad. I think joshua should be aiming for the euopean belt by the end of 2014, and all going good, push onto world level next year. I think chisora would give fury a good fight, most likley going to fury on points, but would like them both to challenge others in hope of a bigger rematch later on if they both continue to improve!

Posted 15:39 9th January 2014

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Add Comment*

Send us your views

Are you a Sky Sports subscriber?

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private

back to top

Other Experts:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Clowney's no joke

US sports expert Alex Ferguson profiles Jadeveon Clowney, the biggest defensive pick of the draft....

Alex Ferguson

King James reigns

Alex Ferguson celebrates a wacky, smile-inducing year in US sport - and salutes Miami's LeBron James....

comments

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....

comments

Alex Ferguson

A perfect union?

Alex Ferguson looks at the possible unionisation of college football and how he would handle the issue....

Alex Ferguson

Call of the century

Spacemen Portland pick Bowie over Jordan - Alex Ferguson ranks the biggest decisions in US Sport....

comments

Alex Ferguson

Independence aces

Alex Ferguson kicks off his Independence Day fun by picking his 20 best bits of American sport....

comments

Jamie Redknapp

Everton come unstuck

Man Utd's men with a point to prove can take advantage of Everton's midweek blow, says Jamie Redknapp....

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Paul Merson says Liverpool WON'T beat Norwich - and Chelsea and Man City will close the gap....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....

comments

Jamie Carragher

Bruce almighty

Steve Bruce deserves a mention when this year's managerial awards are handed out, says Carra....

Dewi Morris

Heart and soul

Dewi Morris looks at a crucial weekend in the Championship as we head towards the play-offs....

Stuart Barnes

Ups and downs

Stuart Barnes says the drama of relegation must be kept in rugby, but the play-offs need changing....

Phil Clarke

To Hull and back

Phil Clarke looks at the mental damage done to Hull FC and Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup....

Bob Willis

Away for a while

Bob Willis thinks Jonathan Trott will be absent from England duty for some time following his latest setback....

Rob Lee

Pinky and perky

Rob Lee blogs on his vivid Masters Breakfast attire and the men that made waves at Augusta National....

Mark Petchey

Fillip for Ferrer

Mark Petchey marvels at David Ferrer's win over Rafael Nadal but downplays it's long-term significance....

Barry Cowan

Heavy burden

Great Britain's best Davis Cup since 1986 fails to mask their reliance on Andy Murray, says Barry Cowan....

Alex Hammond

Just Cause

Alex Hammond reveals her tips for the Irish Grand National and the other decent racing in Ireland this weeend....

Alex Hammond

Going the distance

Marathon entrant Alex Hammond previews the Newbury action and Scottish National meeting at Ayr....

Alex Hammond

Rocky's road

Alex Hammond explains why she is backing Rocky Creek and Lion Na Bearnai at the Grand National....

Johnny Nelson

The best of friends

It will be tough but Johnny Nelson expects mates Anthony Crolla and John Murray to serve up a classic....

Glenn McCrory

Manny happy returns

Manny Pacquiao is back to his best and could yet get it on with Floyd Mayweather, says Glenn McCrory....

Johnny Nelson

Delighted for DeGale

James DeGale's Matchroom switch is the perfect move to get him back in the mix, says Johnny Nelson....

View from America

Desperate deals?

Simon Veness reviews a crazy week in the NFL's free agent frenzy, as sides splash out over $1bn....

comments

Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....

comments

Neal Foulds

Simply the best?

Five-time Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan may be the best snooker player ever, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

The contenders

Kelvin Tatum runs through the teams and riders ahead of the 2014 Elite League Speedway season....

Kelvin Tatum

Kelvin's 2013 Review

Kelvin Tatum salutes Poole's hierarchy and Tai Woffinden in his round-up of the speedway season....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Rich re-Ward

Poole, and the dynamic Darcy Ward, will wrap up the Elite League title at Perry Barr, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......

comments

Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....

comments

Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....

comments

Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...

0 comments

Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....

2 comments

Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....

0 comments