Saturday, 8 September 2012

Vitali Klitschko v Manuel Charr

Although Vitali Klitschko (45-2,41) may now be 41 years old he managed to once again prove that he's one step ahead of father time as he made the 9th defense of his WBC Heavyweight title (since reclaiming it from Samuel Peter) by stopping Syrian born challenger Manuel Charr (21-1,11) in the 4th round.

Whilst Charr had talked the talk in the build up to the bout his didn't ever appear to be walking the walk. Whilst he started the bout well landing a right hand early on he was mostly forced to shell up thorugh much of the opening round as he was forced to take the unorthodox offense of Klitschko which both hit the guard and the split the guard of the challenger. Although Charr let his hands go late into the opener, it almost seemed as if he was there to survive the rounds and hope that Vitali was going to tire himself out hitting gloves, arms and Charr's forehead.

The second round was much like the opening round in that Charr was fighting behind his guard, rarely letting his hands go. Whilst he did land when he did throw punches Charr simply was doing enough to put Klitschko under any pressure at all and the champion did as he pleased. The round ended with Charr on the canvas suffering the first knockdown of his career. This showed that Klitschko had the power to get to Charr even if he was struggling to land clean on a regular basis.

Round 3 was Charr's best as he finally started to let his hands go and was starting to show some effectiveness with his pressure. Whilst he was certainly not winning the round he was starting to show some desire and seemed to force Klitschko onto the back foot more than once. Although Klitschko was able to land counters it seemed as if Charr had finally realised he needed to throw punches to win a fight.

After having his best round in round 3 Charr seemed to have grown in confidence slightly by the start of round 4, this confidence was however misplaced. After coming forward and letting his hands go early in the 4th round he was caught by a counter left hand which opened up a cut that bled, badly from the off from around his right eye. Although it took the referee a few seconds to spot it he soon walked Charr over to the ringside doctor who deemed the cut to be too serious for the bout to continue.

Having lost due to the cut Charr showed his anger at the decision by shouting and screaming whilst punching the ropes. Sadly however it was hard to sympathise with Charr, who suffered his first career loss, as he had done little to suggest that he was able to turn around a fight he had been clearly losing. Had he come to actually fight from the off rather than turtle up it may have been easy to feel sorry for the challenge.

With the champion may be on the verge of retirement he may well feel it's time to bow out with his head held high. He may have won and been totally in charge but he didn't look at his best and until the cut he looked to be in for a long (and rather tedious) night. Having been a 3-time world champion and one half of the most dominant boxing brothers in history he has his place in the hall of fame secured and really has little to add to his legacy by continuing to fight on

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