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Following Vitali Klitschko’s tenth round stoppage over Polish challenger Tomasz Adamek, the Klitschko brothers have won their last twenty five fights between them. In a combined total of one hundred and four boxing matches, they have only lost five. To cap it off, after Wladimir Klitschko’s July win over Britain’s David Haye, the brothers hold the IBF, WBO Super, WBA, WBC and The Ring World Heavyweight titles. In short, they are looking unbeatable. 

While the brothers will certainly be happy with this, and it is definitely good for Ukrainian boxing, it doesn’t make for exciting competition in the heavyweight division. As much as I like the Klitschkos, it is time for a change. I have studied their past losses and worked out how to defeat them. Any heavyweight contenders reading please take note; here is how you can beat the Klitschkos.

Beat the Klitschkos by…being a giant
Vitali Klitschko stands at 6’7 ½” and Wladimir is 6’6. Some would call them tall guys. We saw in Vitali’s last fight against the 6’1 ½” Tomasz Adamek that if you don’t have a similar height you will struggle to get past the almighty jab that both of them possess. The have perfected the art of using their jab as a deterrent, and they will push it at you whenever you get close, much like a housewife chasing rats away with a broom.

When you look at who the brothers have lost to, height has certainly helped. Lennox Lewis is 6’5”, Corrie Sanders 6’4”, and Ross Purity stood at 6’3”. None quite matched the Klitschkos, but it is important that you close the height gap as much as possible. Similarly, there is another physical attribute to possess:

Beat the Klitschkos by…being a natural heavyweight
In their last two fights, the Klitschkos have fought men who were not natural heavyweights. Both David Haye and Tomasz Adamek were former boxing Cruiserweights who had conquered their division and decided to move up and chase heavyweight glory. It did not work.

Adamek in particular looked petite in his fight with Klitschko. Standing next to Vitali, who at 242Lb was his career lightest, Adamek’s 216Lb did not look enough for him to have any effective presence in the ring. His body couldn’t roll with Dr. Ironfist's punches, and after enough of them had gotten through, Adamek was beat. David Haye had a similar problem when, in their fight at the Imtech Arena, Hamburg, he gave Wladimir Klitschko a thirty two pound weight advantage. You cannot let the Klitschkos have so many pounds over you.

Ross Purity and Lennox Lewis both realized this, and in their fights they came in heavy. Puritty, an American journeyman that was expected to be a walkover for Wladimir, made a point of entering the ring weighing twenty four pounds more than his opponent. It helped him, and he was able to win an eleventh round TKO over Klitschko.

Beat the Klitschkos by…starting aggressive and finishing it early
There are two schools of thought on this tactic; some men think it is foolish, and others have used it and won. In April 2004, this was former WBO Heavyweight Champion Lamon Brewster’s tactic of choice. He decided he would not bow down to Wladimir, and in a fight that shocked the boxing world he backed Klitschko up with his punches and forced him into the ropes. He didn’t give his younger rival any chance to breath, and the fight ended with a fifth round TKO. Corrie Sanders had also used this method a year earlier when he scored a second round TKO over the Ukrainian heavyweight.

The drawback to this is you open yourself up for punishment. Unless you do it perfectly, this tactic can really get you hurt. Many have tried it and found themselves face down on the canvas in the early rounds of the fight, so it is a strategy you should only try if you know you can pull it off.

Beat the Klitschkos by…employing Ross Puritty as a Sparring Partner
If you want to beat someone supposedly “unbeatable", how about using the services of someone who has been there and done it before? Corrie Sanders did just that before his 2003 fight with Wladimir Klitschko and it turned out to be a masterstroke.

Puritty, a massive underdog before the fight, was the first person to beat Wlad and the only one to do it in Dr. Steelhammer’s first forty-one fights. His tactic was to let the Ukrainian tire himself out, and to the amazement of watching fans, it worked. Corrie Sanders subsequently snapped him up and Puritty has able to give him tips that proved invaluable. This tactic may not have much shelf-life however, because since then Wladimir has improved massively.

Beat the Klitschkos by….hoping they throw in the towel.
This has happened twice to Vitali, never to Wladimir. In fights against both Chris Byrd and Lennox Lewis the elder of the two brothers had built up a substantial points lead but was then forced by his corner to give it up.

Chris Byrd got lucky when Vitali sustained a shoulder injury before the ninth round. Klitschko was reluctant to throw the towel in, not wanting to give away a fight that he was clearly winning. It turned out to be the right move though – it was revealed after the bout that he had a torn rotator cuff, the kind of injury that can ruin a career if treated lightly.

Three years later, in the Staples Center, LA, Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko met in a much anticipated fight for the WBO and IBO Heavyweight titles. It was one of the few times that Klitschko entered the ring as the underdog, though he didn’t take any notice of the odds. It was a back and forth fight filled with power shots, and by seventh round Vitali was winning. Sadly for him, it was not to be; he had suffered a wound from a Lewis uppercut and against Vitali's desperate pleas, the ringside doctor called the fight off.

Use At Your Own Risk
So we have seen that the Klitschkos can be beaten by tactics, physique and a heavy dose of luck. It doesn’t happen often, but it is by no means impossible. For anyone who wishes to use the tactics I have highlighted, do so at your own risk. I offer the following disclaimer:
Punchbag Blog is in no way responsible if, by the use of aforementioned methods, you end up on the floor of the ring, body limp with shame and your career in tatters. If, however, you employ them to some success, I would appreciate five per cent of your purse.