Wladimir Klitschko vs Mormeck: No Surprises
Wladimir Klitschko 57-3 (50) retained his WBA, IBF, WBO & IBO world titles and Ring Magazine champion status in the Heavyweight division here in Düsseldorf tonight with a one-sided demolition of a hopelessly over-matched Jean-Marc Mormeck 36-5 (22).
In the build-up to the fight, most observers believed this contest to be a mismatch and so it proved. Mormeck failed to land a single meaningful punch throughout the contest - although when later questioned in the press conference whether he expected such an easy fight with Mormeck who had "not given him (Klitschko) a single punch", the champion responded "That's not true. He hit me in the eye with the jab, in my left eye. And it burns! Still burning actually." In other words, he got caught once and it stung a bit.
Mormeck's intentions were clear from the opening bell. Head down, the challenger burrowed forwards into the chest of the Ukranian in an effort to get into range. Once in range however, Klitschko clinched and spoiled, thwarting his opponent. The referee was the busiest man in the ring, electing to separate the fighters after every clinch. The Ukranian found the space to land the jab and force Mormeck back. The vastly pro-Klitschko crowd didn't like the Frenchman's tactics, whistling and hooting their displeasure. The champion took the opener 10-9, looking more accomplished than his opponent and landing the few scoring punches.
The second round saw Klitschko immediately onto the front foot, pushing out the trademark 'Steelhammer' jab. Mormeck tried to leap into range but was again restricted by the bigger man first, then referee Luis Pabon who, immediately breaking clinches, took away Mormeck's only realistic hope of getting close enough to Klitschko to do any damage.
Klitschko's work was increasingly impressive and combinations now landed along with the jab. A right hand dropped the Frenchman. Mormeck rose to his feet and Wladimir rushed in to finish the job. Evasive action and the referee's intervention allowed Mormeck to survive more heavy looking combinations from the champion, who took the round 10-8 courtesy of the knockdown.
The third round saw Klitschko continue to smother the smaller man, the physical advantages held by the champion now glaringly evident. Klitschko landed some eye catching combinations then two, three, four left hands in quick succession. Mormeck covered up to protect himself from combinations that landed with regularity. A big looping right hand from the challenger failed to connect and he was forced to eat more jabs. The referee was continually required to break up the pair before both fighters fell untidily to the floor, Mormeck helped to his feet by the referee after Wladimir had toppled forwards on to him. Klitschko was warned by Pabon for pushing, but again, took the round, this time 10-9.
The fourth round had Mormeck coming forwards, head down, but held at bay by Klitschko. Again the referee was busy. A minute into the round, after yet another clinch, Klitschko fired off a jab and right hand which detonated on the Frenchman and crumpled his legs. A left hook cuffed him on the way down and a final swinging right failed to connect. Mormeck looked up from the canvas, dazed from the blows. He bravely beat the count, just, but Pabon had seen enough and waved it off.
The crowd got what they came for and went home happy. A dominant Klitschko performance, capped off by a stoppage, the 50th in his professional career. But the quality of the opponent and the competitiveness of the bout seemingly an irrelevance to the paying public. However, as in Munich two weeks ago but for very different reasons, the Heavyweight division does not emerge from the evening with any great credit.
Target practice for Wladimir Klitschko against an opponent conceding so many advantages before he even stepped into the ring, then succumbing to a predictable end, can not be good for the sport, however much money it makes.