When: Saturday, May 29, 2010
Where: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirschen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Weight Class: WBC Heavyweight Championship
By Scotty L of Predictem.com
Vitali Klitschko, 39-2 (37 KO's), Kiev, Ukraine, WBC Heavyweight Champion. Vs.Albert Sosnowski, 45-2-1 (27 KO's), Warsaw, Poland/Essex, United Kingdom.
Fight Odds: Vitali Klitschko (-4500), Albert Sosnowski (+1300)
Over/Under: Over 8.5 (+210), Under 8.5 (-325)
Analysis: On May 29, WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko defends his title against England-based Pole Albert Sosnowski in Germany. The Klitschko brothers sit at the top of the division; with his brother Wladimir recognized as the top guy, with Vitali an almost-even number two. Vitali might be at the top if not for a 4-year retirement. During that time, his brother strengthened his championship credentials.
But make no mistake that Vitali is a handful and then some. He had that fluky bum-shoulder TKO to Chris Byrd over a decade ago and, of course, his near-legendary TKO loss on cuts to Lennox Lewis in 2003. Besides that, he's rarely been challenged in the ring. He isn't the most fluid champion ever, but he's clever, strong, and hard to hit. When he is hit, he can take it, as his amazing record of zero knockdowns suffered attests to. At 6'8," he keeps opponents at the end of a punishing jab. Then he comes down the pike with right hand smashes.
At 38, he is not invulnerable. But since coming back after an injury-induced retirement, he has appeared to be refreshed. There is no noticeable deterioration that one would expect from a man in his thirties after a long layoff. If anything, he looks as good as he's ever been.
There's nothing wrong with Albert Sosnowski. He is a strong, game fighter. Sosnowski is always in shape and works hard in the ring. His record shows two losses in 48 fights, but a look behind the numbers isn't particularly flattering to him. His opponents have been low-grade and he has struggled with fighters a real comer would have beaten easily. He is an honest pro, however, and the kind of guy that is good for the sport. He tries hard and is a good, honest fighter.
It takes a lot more than that to beat Vitali Klitschko and this would be a titanic upset if Sosnowski were to win. The 45-1 odds on Klitschko reveal the Grand Canyon-sized gulf in their respective abilities. I believe that Sosnowski has almost no chance of winning. He deserves credit for getting his career back on track with recent triumphs over Paolo Vidoz and Danny Williams. But these two fighters weren't near their best form and on their last lap as fighters. Most worrisome is Sosnowski' shutout decision loss to Zuri Lawrence, a spoiler-type of fighter. Lawrence has sprung some surprises in the past and when "on," he was a tough assignment. But he seemed to be winding down, and the Sosnowski win was his last victory in the ring. Sosnowski was wobbled in the 8th and final round and might have been stopped if the bout was a ten rounder. This is especially troubling when one notes that Lawrence had scored zero knockouts in 41 fights!
Sosnowski hasn't really beaten anyone credible at all. He drew with decent Francesco Pianeta a year ago and beat so-so Steve Helenius a few years ago. He barely defeated ancient former cruiserweight champion Orlin Norris in 2005 and struggled with journeyman Lawrence Tauasa the following year.
Scotty's Pick to Win: Klitschko is going to win. The 45-1 odds in his favor make for impossible earning potential, so let's see what we can do here. A look at Vitali's record shows while he scores mostly knockouts, he usually does it late. In his last 11 fights, he has only scored one knockout before 8 rounds. So why would I like the under here?
To Sosnowski's credit, he doesn't seem like the sort to passively absorb a sufferable beating for 9-10 rounds before losing. I believe he will try to win. He doesn't have the savvy or ointment to successfully loaf around, or the firepower to threaten Klitschko. I think that makes for a short night. Klitschko will soften him up with jabs for the first few rounds, at which point Sosnowski will find himself horribly out of his depth.
Sosnowski will attempt to get some offense going, but will get nailed in doing so. I say after about 4-5 rounds of this, Klitschko should get Sosnowski out of there. I don't see this fight getting into the ninth round. Lay the -325 on the under.
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