Does New DVD Explain The Klitschko Brothers?
The Klitschko brothers are often accused of taking no chances in the ring, boxing like robots and almost destroying interest in boxing’s top drawing card – the heavyweight division. Does the new DVD documentary of their life do anything to explain them?
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Today the Klitschko brothers monopolise the world heavyweight boxing heavyweight division, holding all the championship belts between them. It’s a unique achievement in a charged, dangerous, and volatile environment. Yet the brothers have been successful for a long time. Wladimir is 36 and Vitali 40 but they show no signs of moving on.
Many would like them to. Critics like Freddie Roach, one of boxing’s top trainers, say they don’t help the sport. Fighting almost exclusively out of Germany does not promote their case either. Boxing needs live US audiences and fight fans demand access to heavyweight champions. They are unlikely to get that while the Klitschkos reign supreme – and happy – in Germany.
Now there is a DVD available, a documentary of the Klitschko story. Unfortunately it is a superficial look at their careers and doesn’t get close to explaining why these men, both with considerable educational achievements and solid family backgrounds, get into the ring. It’s a sad fact that many fighters lack both these advantages and use boxing to get a start in life.
So why do the Klitschkos do it? There’s no sign of the traditional ”hungry fighter” in their makeup but both have the advantages of size and strength, they tower over many opponents and have a longer reach.
What they totally lack is, for example, the powerful menace of a Sonny Liston, the aggression of a Joe Frazier, the dancing talent of an Ali. Or the brute force of a young Mike Tyson, the polished ring craft of Lennox Lewis. Instead there’s solid technique and the elimination of risk.
Society has moved on from the days when boxing was a favourite sport of the working man. Between the wars, and from the 40s through to the 70s there was a regular fight programme. Now fights were looked forward to as major occasions – so there’s an onus on the boxer to come up with the goods.
As champions the Klitschkos collect the big purses but they don’t come up with the goods. They are percentage fighters and as Freddie Roach also says, “Taking chances is what makes fights.” That’s an alien idea for the brothers and Wladimir sums up their approach, “Discipline, game plan, no emotion.”
Says it all really. Take the emotion out of a contest and boxing loses its heart.