V. Klitschko Stops Charr, Defends WBC Title

By: Heath Harlem
Follow me @pittgrad0214
WBC heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko (45-2 41 KOs) entered the ring for what could be the last time in his hall of fame career against previously undefeated challenger Manuel Charr (21-1 11KOs ranked #7 by the WBC) and finished Charr in a 4th round TKO.  The fight was stopped by the ringside doctors in response to a nasty cut suffered by Charr, in a fight in which Klitschko dominated from the opening bell.

In the first round Klitschko began his domination using his superior reach to keep Charr at bay.  Vitali kept his hands down as if daring Manuel Charr to launch any type of attack.  Charr who according to compubox statistics is a slow starter, showed little interest in mounting any type of offensive effort.  Instead of attacking he responded to Klitschko’s jabs by moving around the ring attempting to keep away.  While it appeared that no serious power shots were landed by Klitschko, he did leave Charr with swelling near his right eye that would turn out to be a much bigger deal later.

The second round started with more domination by Vitali.  Keeping his hands down daring Charr to attack, Vitali continued to land jab after jab.  He continued to use his jab to set up power shots to Charr’s body.  In the second half of the round Manuel started to fight back showing signs of life for the first time in the fight.  In the closing seconds of the round Charr leaned in and was hit was dropped by an overhand right from his 6’ 7” opponent that he didn’t see.
The third round was another round dominated Vitali.  Keeping his hands down Charr continued to get hit with left hand jabs and right hand shots to the body.  The power shots to the body seemed to awaken Manuel as he showed signs of life but did little damage as Vitali fought through any attack.  As the round progressed it was more of the same with Klitschko being the aggressor and wining the round.

The fourth round started like the previous 3 with Klitschko coming out hands at his waist, using his jab to setup right-hand body shots.  At about the midway point of the round Klitschko hit Charr with a straight left that busted open the swelling near Charr’s right eye.  The blood seemed to energize Charr as he began to launch his most aggressive attack of the night landing scoring blows on Vitali for the first time of the night.  With 55 seconds left in the round the referee stopped the fight, and had the doctor at ringside examine the cut.  The doctor determined it was not safe for the fight to continue and Klitscho was declared the winner by TKO as an emotional Manuel Charr reacted by screaming at the doctor, referee, Vitali, and kicking the ropes.

With the TKO of Charr, Klitschko defended his WBC title for the 9th time.  If this in fact Vitali last fight, he won’t be remembered for title defenses, instead for how easily he and his brother dominated the heavyweight division for the past 10 years.  Vitali may go down as the most underappreciated fighter in boxing history.  In his 17 year career (with a 4 year hiatus) he has had only 2 blemishes on his record, Chris Byrd in 2000 when he was easily head of the fight and injured his shoulder, and Lennox Lewis in 2003 when he was ahead on all judges’ cards at the time the fight was stopped due to a cut.  There has been many questions on whether the competition Vitali has faced over his career has been up to par with other generations, but that cannot be used against him in evaluating his legacy as he has dominated every opponent put in front of him. It would be fitting that this would be Vitali’s last fight since it took place in Moscow, for generations seen at the center of political repression as Klitschko has dreams of using his boxing success to launch his political career with goals of ending corruption and being part of the democratic movement in his native Ukraine.  Ultimately political corruption may ultimately be Vitali’s greatest opponent and hopefully his biggest victory.  As for his boxing career, his total domination of Manuel Charr was just another example of what we have seen over Klitschko’s 17 year career, total domination.

Weekend Wrap-up: Bellew-Miranda, Klitschko-Charr, Ward-Dawson

By: Danny RichardsonFollow me @Danny_Boy_93

 


The new boxing season kicked off in style on Saturday, with 3 high profile fights taking place on both sides of the Atlantic. In London, Liverpool’s Light Heavyweight hope Tony Bellew faced a step up in class against Edison Miranda, in Russia, heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko took on the unbeaten Manuel Charr and finally in Oakland, U.S.A, the classy Andre Ward faced Chad Dawson for the WBC and WBA super middleweight crowns. 3 very different contests at 3 different levels, the new season got off to a flyer.

Bellew beat Miranda TKO 9 

In London’s Alexandra Palace, proud Liverpudlian Tony Bellew defeated the tough Edison Miranda in the ninth round to signal his rise onto the world level. Bellew, who improved his record to 18 victories, 12 by KO, executed a perfect game plan to stop Miranda, who slipped to his 8th defeat in 43 contests.

Although the fight was far from entertaining, against the norm in a Bellew contest, I was very impressed by ‘the Bomber’ last night. Although he took a while to get going, possibly showing the hard hitting Miranda too much respect, Bellew was mostly in control for the duration of the fight, working well behind the jab and catching Miranda with some nice shots to the body. Miranda showboated from time to time, and did catch Bellew a few times in the fight, even rocking Bellew momentarily in the second round. However, the die hard Everton fan recovered well, to dominate Miranda on my card.

I had Bellew well ahead by the time the stoppage came in the ninth, and it was a professional finish from Bellew. Sagging on the ropes, Miranda took a left hook to the body and that was the shot that did the damage to send him down. He took a knee, before rising and seemingly signalling that he’d had enough, leaving referee Ian John Lewis no option but to wave the fight off.
Bellew did seem lethargic at times, and could have forced the stoppage earlier, had he pushed forward when he had Miranda hurt. There were times when you expected Bellew to step up the pressure, particularly in the 7th round where Miranda looked there for the taking. Bellew instead stepped back, letting Miranda off of the hook. However it turned out to be the perfect tactics. Bellew was never really in trouble, and wore Miranda down , claiming a comfortable stoppage win. Miranda is a good opponent and Bellew showed he belongs at a world level last night.

I think in the future, Bellew needs to take a few more chances, because against the higher calibre opposition, he may not get as many chances as he did against Miranda last night. The cutting edge was missing until the ninth round – and I think Bellew will be disappointed he wasn’t as explosive as he could have been. But you can’t argue with the result, Miranda has lost to the likes of Andre Ward and Lucian Bute so Bellew can add his name to the list of class operators to have beaten Miranda. I get the feeling there’s more to come from Bellew, he has a great personality, and I’d love to see him tackle Nathan Cleverly again. He’s winning a lot of fans as his career progresses, and I can’t wait to see him back in action again.

Klitschko beat Charr TKO 4

In what was another bore fest from a Klitschko brother, WBC king Vitali made easy work of Manuel Charr inside 4 rounds in Russia, in what could be his last contest as a professional boxer. After a sluggish performance against Britain’s mad man Dereck Chisora in February, Vitali barely broke a sweat as he wore down the unadventurous, previously unbeaten Charr, who I can safely say no one will ever hear from again.

Klitschko was by far the superior man in the mismatch from hell, and dominated the poor Charr from start to finish, knocking his man down in the third round, before stopping him in the following round. I don’t even have to describe the fight, it was same old from Vitali, too big, too strong, too good for his opponent, who looked scared to death of the Ukrainian. The fight was stopped on cuts after a wound opened up over Charr’s right eye. Although not the worst cut I’ve seen, it saved Charr from further punishment, in fact he showed more fight at the fight being stopped than he had in nearly 12 minutes of boxing. Klitschko looked embarrassed at the beating he had just given Charr, and to be honest, I was embarrassed for him.

The thing is with the Klitschko’s, it’s like their fighting on a video game on the easiest difficulty. They don’t have to break sweat when they deal with easy opponents and it makes for terrible viewing. I personally can’t understand why they’re still in boxing; there is only one fight the world wants to see and that’s Vitali against David Haye. Until that happens, we’ll be stuck watching them beat up overweight part timers. Vitali said he will probably retire after last night, but I hope a final big money showdown with the Hayemaker may persuade him to carry on. It will be the perfect send off, so let’s hope it happens.

Ward beat Dawson TKO 10

Andre Ward proved why he has a claim to the pound for pound throne on Saturday when he totally dismantled Chad Dawson in 10 rounds. ‘S.O.G’ retained his WBA and WBC super middleweight crowns in impressive fashion, putting on a boxing clinic to take out Dawson, who suffered only the 2nd defeat of his career. Ward extended his unbeaten record to 26 wins, claiming an impressive stoppage in the process.

Ward started slowly, but in the 3rd round, he got the breakthrough. After seemingly struggling to figure out Dawson’s style, Ward landed a short left hook which sent Dawson to the canvas. Although he got up, from that moment on, Ward totally dominated, landing his left hand at will.
Throughout the contest, Ward landed his left hand and put together beautiful combinations. Dawson couldn’t get going, and gradually deteriorated as the fight went on, possibly being slightly weight drained. But don’t let that take anything away from Ward, who hammered a world class light heavyweight with ease, adding another knockdown in the fourth, his left hand again doing the damage.

The end came in the 10th, when another left hand sent Dawson reeling. His legs were gone, and a combination but him down on the floor for the third time. He got up again, but referee Steve Smoger wisely waved off the contest, after Dawson seemed unwilling to continue.

Ward looks to be the real deal. With Floyd Mayweather coming towards the end of his career, I have no doubts that Ward will be the next pound for pound king. Looking at the fighters he’s beaten in the past few years, Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and Dawson, you have to say that he’s one of the, if not the best out there at the minute. It was a quality performance, and I will put my neck on the line and say it will be a good 5 years before he tastes defeat. He may never lose; I wouldn’t put it past him. It’s difficult to see where he goes from here though; a routine defence may be next. Dawson will surely move back up to light heavyweight, but it’s all about ‘S.O.G’.

Fight Predictions: Ward-Dawson, DeMarco-Molina, Klitschko-Charr

 By: Brandon Stubbs

Follow me @Punch_2theface
www.Punch2theface.com


Saturday night, HBO delivers boxing fans a triple-header of action. We get fights from two different continents and three title fights in three different weight classes. We have two hungry young fighters wanting to stake their claim in their division and two men making their case in the Pound for Pound race.

Manuel Charr vs. Vitali Klitschko

Many of you were like me and wondered who in the world Manuel Charr is? And more importantly, how in the world did he get a title shot? Sadly, this is what the heavyweight division has turned into in this day and age; a bunch of nobodies and the Klitschko brothers. So who is Manuel Charr? Well, he’s tall standing 6’4”, a former Muay Thai champion, German and well…that’s about it. His record shows nothing to leave me to think he has any chance against the elder Vitali. Is Vitali getting older; yes. Is Vitali getting slower, sure. But Vitali still has all the right skills to pick apart and break a relatively novice fighter like Charr. I see this going the way most of the Klitschko fights go. The first few rounds are for feeling out and finding range. Around the third or fourth   the pressure increases then breaking down Charr and his will  in the seventh or eighth. This one should end no later then early in the tenth and leaving the Klitschko’s on top of the heavyweight mountain still.

John Molina Jr. vs. Antonio DeMarco

It is always a treat when you have two humble yet hungry fighters square off in the same ring. On Saturday night you will get exactly that when John Molina Jr. will challenge Antonio DeMarco for his WBC Lightweight title. Both of these guys can lay the wood; 76% of Molina’s wins coming from knockout and DeMarco is no slouch having 67% of his W’s coming from the knockout. With that, said somebody is going to get laid out. In talking with Molina Jr. ( ) you just know he is hungry and ready for the limelight. He showed a ton of heart in his bout with Hank Lundy back in 2010 and I see him using that same heart to win this Saturday. Oddly I don’t see this ending via the knockout or even TKO.  I see it going the full 12 and being a true haymaker. It can be expected that both guys may hit the mat, but DeMarco maybe 2-3 times. Molina wins this slugfest on the cards and captures the WBC belt, setting up even larger paydays down the road; possibly with Andrien Broner.

Chad Dawson vs. Andre Ward

Some said that when Dawson vs. Ward was announced that this would be a boring fight. They said these two guys have boring personalities. They said this fight may not sell well with the boxing public. I say they were wrong all around. After HBO aired “Road to Dawson, Ward”, the boxing world got a chance to see these fighters debunk the boring label and help build a buzz for this fight. The fight did sell well, most for the fact that it is in Ward’s backyard of Oakland. As far as this being boring, that won’t happen. Matter of fact I’m going to go against the grain in my fight pick. The bout is for Ward’s WBA, WBC and The Ring Super Middleweight titles. So with Dawson coming down in weight, some think he will be the much slower fighter. Not I. Ward doesn’t have blazing speed and Dawson hands are much underrated. I see the naturally bigger fighter in Dawson imposing his will and working off of jab; using his 5 ½ inch reach advantage. With Dawson being on the fringe of true greatness, I see Dawson going out to make a major statement. I’m calling for Dawson to stop Ward in the 9th or 10 round and crowning a new king in the Pound for Pound argument. I just believe his size and power will be the defining factor. Ward is going to give him a good scrap, but will taste his first career defeat.