During Wladimir Klitschko’s promotion for his Saturday night, heavyweight championship fight with Bryant Jennings, he was asked to comment on his legacy in the heavyweight division.
With 17 consecutive title defenses, Wladimir Klitschko is enjoying one of the most dominant runs in the history of the sport. A run that has put him in the position to break the records of a few all-time greats in the sport. He currently resides behind Muhammad Ali (19 consecutive defenses) Larry Holmes (20) and Joe Louis (25) in the record books.
When asked about his feats and how he seems himself amongst those greats, Klitschko was humble and almost timid with his response.
“I honestly afraid to pay any attention to that, I don’t wanna think about it, I don’t wanna know about it, I’m getting to hear it all of the time…”
As he continued, it became clear that he had great respect for past legends, and still looks up to them in the way he did when he was a boy.
“… all those guys, Joe Louis and Larry Holmes, Ali and everybody that were holding this title previously… I still kinda kid in certain way because I still looking up to them, and I have a lot of respect… I don’t want to compare myself with none of those greatest names. I’m just enjoying myself as an insider in this game.”
Since Klitschko doesn’t want to do it, I will. Despite the weak era his career has occupied, Klitschko deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as many all-time greats.
He’s not a favorite of mine, much in the way Lennox Lewis was never a favorite of mine. However, there is no denying that with his size and the way the late great Emanuel Steward trained him to use that size, he would be a problem for anyone of any era.
I’m pretty sure Klitschko would lose to big George Foreman. He’d probably win against Tyson, as he always seemed to struggle more with taller fighters. Would a 215lb. Muhammad Ali be crafty enough to to beat him? Could 205lb. Joe Frazier get to that chin? I’m talking about some of my favorites here and I’m not so sure they could beat him in his prime. His size and style seem unfair to me, but they aren’t. They’re just a huge advantage. An “all-time” advantage, if you will.
With the heavyweight landscape the way it has been for the past 15 years, all Klitschko can do is continue to dominate everyone that steps into the ring with him. He has been doing that for over a decade now, and most expect that to continue Saturday night.