By John F. McKenna (McJack)
It’s kind of interesting how much flak WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KO’s) has taken for his upcoming fight with Frenchman Jean-Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KO’s). Many boxing observers and fans have been highly critical of “Dr. Steelhammer” for taking on the former WBA/WBC cruiserweight champion.
Granted the 5’11” Mormeck does not appear to be a tough challenge for the 6’6” Klitschko, who has been a dominant heavyweight champion for the past half dozen years. Mormeck was TKO’d by David Haye in November 2007 after which he took a two year hiatus. Jean-Marc returned as a heavyweight in December 2009 and still has not faced stiff opposition there. Mormeck’s lack of credible opponents since moving up to heavyweight is the basis for the criticism directed at Wladimir.
The reality is however that Klitschko has had little success at finding worthy opponents willing to risk fighting him. Wladimir has made no secret of his desire to face WBA “regular” heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (23-0, 16 KO’s). In 2009 Klitschko and Povetkin were scheduled to fight and in fact had a press conference arranged to hype the fight. Povetkin, who is handled by American trainer Teddy Atlas failed to appear at the press conference. The initial excuse put out by the Povetkin camp was that he had severe allergies which prevented him from attending the event.
The Povetkin – Klitschko fight fell through. The reasons given varied from injury to contractual disputes. The truth later came out when Teddy Altlas acknowledged that he had Alexander pull out of the fight because he felt he was not yet ready for Klitschko. That was over two years ago. Since that time Wladimir won a one sided fight over then WBA champion David Haye in July. After his victory over Haye, Klitschko was elevated by the WBA to super heavyweight champion. The WBA then declared Klitschko’s regular WBA title vacant. Povetkin then became the “regular” WBA heavyweight champion when he defeated Rusian Chagaev last August.
While Povetkin still insists that he wants to fight Wladimir sometime in the future he is hard to pin down as to when he will be ready for that fight. It is ironic that Atlas has taken more than a couple of swipes at Wladimir Klitschko and as a commentator for his match with Sam Peter in 2010 went as far as to say that Wladimir could be taken to “a weak place” mentally, inferring that he was not mentally tough.
Apparently however, Atlas still does not feel that Povetkin, who he has trained for a number of years, is ready for “Dr.Ironfist”.