Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis was in agreement with the majority of fans viewing Saturday’s multi-million dollar contest between current number one Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin.
Lewis, who fought and defeated the younger Klitschko’s brother Vitali before retiring from the sport ten years ago, was ringside in Moscow as the Ukrainian dominated Povetkin, but was unimpressed with the tactics used in the fight.
Klitschko, 37, continually jabbed his way in and proceeded to clinch and push the Russian down in a movement that happened repeatedly, round after round, throughout the contest. The leaning went without punishment from referee Luis Pabon until the last six minutes and no doubt stopped Povetkin getting into any sort of rhythm in the fight.
The action adopted by the experienced champion marred what was a masterful performance by Klitschko, who had way too much for Povetkin and put him on the canvas four times on his way to yet another victory.
From his view close to the ring apron though, retired Lewis couldn’t resist a quip about Klitschko’s antics and found the time to tweet: “Lean On Me” must have been the last song playing on @Klitschko’s iPod. #KlitschkoPovetkin as he watched the contest at close quarters.
Pabon finally penalised Klitschko in the eleventh by deducting a point, although referee’s will have to be much tougher with the energy-sapping tactics employed by ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ as the four-belt king heads into the twilight of his career.
I am not suggesting that the outcome would have been any different in Moscow, although Povetkin would have had considerably more in the tank to make the fight more competitive as Klitschko won every round.
The pulling power of Klitschko is never going to wane in Germany where he enjoys a massive following, but could affect his regular place on HBO in the US or hamper the UK picking up his fights in the future if he persists with the grabbing.
Briton Lewis obviously agrees with the criticism.