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Sarge
04-12-2004, 03:06 PM
Klitschko's future might be outside ring, not in it, after loss
April 11, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

LAS VEGAS -- Wladimir Klitschko better get used to working in his brother's corner during fights. It might be the only future he has left in boxing.

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With his chin exposed yet again in a shocking knockout loss to a journeyman boxer, the Ukrainian once thought of as a future heavyweight champion now must decide whether he will ever fight again.

Klitschko's more immediate plans are to be in the corner when his brother, Vitali, fights for the WBC title against Corrie Sanders on April 24. But the hopes the two brothers had of becoming heavyweight champions at the same time probably ended in the fifth round Saturday night against Lamon Brewster.

Klitschko's own trainer said before the fight that Wladimir should retire if he lost. Few who saw him collapse under an onslaught from the unheralded Brewster would argue the point.

Klitschko was taken to a hospital for a precautionary brain scan after the fight on the recommendation of a ring doctor who was alarmed at what she saw as the fifth round drew to a close in the fight for the fringe WBO title.

The scan proved normal, but there was nothing normal about the way Klitschko was stopped in a fight he had dominated for four rounds. Two left hooks by Brewster midway through the fifth round turned the bout around, and he went down for a second time after the bell sounded to end the round.

Brewster was on his stool getting ready for the sixth round as Klitschko tried to get his 6-foot-6 frame off the canvas. It took agonizingly long, and when he did, he was so wobbly that referee Robert Byrd had no choice but to stop the fight.

"He couldn't take care of himself," Byrd said. "I tried to get a response out of him but there was none. I've never stopped a fight like that before."

It was the second knockout loss in the last four fights for Klitschko, who won the 1996 Olympic gold medal and was once thought of as the better of the two boxing brothers.

Klitschko was as much as a 9-1 favorite against Brewster, who hadn't fought in more than a year. But, aided by a bet by promoter Don King on Brewster, the odds had shortened considerably by fight time.

Klitschko admitted to some doubts about his ability before the fight, saying he hoped to prove himself.

"Do I belong in the champion's league or am I just good enough for the first league?" he asked.

Brewster gave him the answer after getting knocked down in the fourth round only to turn the fight around with a pair of left hooks that left Klitschko defenseless on the ropes.

"I knew I could punch. It was just a matter of time," Brewster said. "I knew he would get tired."

Klitschko slept in Sunday morning and wasn't talking about his future plans, his spokesman said. Vitali boarded an airplane and headed back to Los Angeles to resume training for his fight with Sanders for the title made vacant when Lennox Lewis retired.

Meanwhile, King was beside himself with his fighter's win and the current state of the heavyweight division. IBF champion Chris Byrd and WBA champion John Ruiz fight on the same card next Saturday in New York, and unless Vitali Klitschko comes up big against Sanders there is no dominant heavyweight out there.

Mike Tyson was among those at the postfight news conference with a stake in the future. Tyson is scheduled to begin training Monday in Arizona for what he said would probably be a fight in July or August against a second-tier opponent.

Tyson's manager, Shelly Finkel, would like him to fight twice, then take on undefeated Joe Mesi, possibly in December at Madison Square Garden.

"Pretty encouraging, isn't it?" Tyson asked.

The heavyweight shocker overshadowed an excellent fight earlier Saturday in which Cory Spinks defended his undisputed welterweight titles with a unanimous decision over former 140-pound champion Zab Judah despite being knocked down with 25 seconds left.

Spinks got a hug going into the ring from someone who knows a little bit about heavyweight fighting -- his father, former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks.

Sarge
04-12-2004, 03:06 PM
The heavyweight division is a mess

twonabomber
04-12-2004, 03:28 PM
it's been a mess.

Wladmir, this year's Great White Dope. let 'im fight Peter McNeely.

Fairwrning
04-12-2004, 06:45 PM
i saw the fight....the guy pulled a classic rope-a-dope on klitchko...let him punch himself out and then lowered the boom...

Fairwrning
04-12-2004, 07:01 PM
"Tyson's manager, Shelly Finkel, would like him to fight twice, then take on undefeated Joe Mesi, possibly in December at Madison Square Garden."

no way should mike fuckin tyson be allowed in a boxing ring!! the guy bit off half of Holyfield's ear for god's sake....

Starwood
04-12-2004, 11:18 PM
Starwood saw it. Classic examples of poor conditioning and underestimating your opponent.
BTW - he'll fight again.

Sarge
04-13-2004, 10:33 AM
Tyson will beat Joe Mesi though

ALinChainz
04-14-2004, 07:37 PM
Everything seem to be going ok for Klitschko and then ... BOOM.

He got hit, and he was toast. Simply cannot take a punch, and even against a much lesser class of opponent, or so it looked.

And I agree Sarge, Mesi won't beat Tyson, even at this late stage of his career.