Wladimir Klitschko - illustration by Trevor Von Eeden
Boxiana: Volume 1 is available through Troubador Publishing, Amazon in the UK, Amazon in the USA and all good traditional and online booksellers.
Over the past couple of months, this blog has been featuring a series of exclusive previews of content from Boxiana: Volume 1, which will hopefully whet your appetite and persuade you to buy the full volume, which will be available as a paperback book (RRP £9.99) or ebook (RRP £3.99) from 28 November.
Today I'm presenting an extract from Corey Quincy's article about Wladimir Klitschko's reign as World Heavyweight Champion - Corey raises some fascinating points as he examines in an honest and up-front manner Wlad's virtues - and flaws! You can also read an interview with Corey here.
Boxiana: Volume 1 preview
THE KLITSCHKO CONUNDRUM
Corey Quincy examines the title reign of Wladimir Klitschko and argues that, no matter how displeasing aesthetically, his story is an inarguable Ukrainian success story …
Righting the wrongs of his early career has long been a goal of Wladimir Klitschko. Once upon a time, the unified Heavyweight champion's sights were set on mere optimization. Kneeling to the dastardly truth braced upon his career by Ross Puritty, and (soon after) Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster through traumatic knockout defeats would have been a considerable error in judgment, but an understandable and plausible reaction to that sour time period. The 1996 Super Heavyweight Olympic Gold Medalist's new status as the punchline to innumerable jokes created little empathy within the boxing community. As his age progressed and his fan base shrunk, interest from the masses quickly plummeted. TV networks lost interest, and he was nearly branded as a domestic-European level boxer who had failed to make the transition to true world class.
Simultaneously, applicant after applicant for the post-Tyson/ Lewis/ Bowe/ Holyfield heavyweight throne were lined up and, eventually, knocked down again. Touted US hopefuls such as Joe Mesi, Dominick Guinn, and oh-so-many more were being showcased like poodles at a dog show by distraught groups of top promoters sick and tired of scrambling to find their next cash-grabbing heavyweight freak show. It seemed as though the mine of heavyweight talent, so rich and abundant in previous decades, was depleted. A worldwide heavyweight drought had begun. Maybe we just had to live with it; as rising stars stepped up to the plate in the lower weight classes, the heavyweight division was conspicuous only by its paucity of talent. Or maybe one man could return to shake things up?
Back at square one, we saw Wladimir's older brother Vitali Klitschko enter prominence through the early years of the 20th century, and retire from late 2004 through 2008. Throughout that time period, Wladimir’s resurgence began. After escaping with a close unanimous decision victory over Samuel Peter in September 2005, Klitschko continued to ameliorate, busting Chris Byrd up in seven rounds in their rematch of a meeting six years prior.
The real X-factor was Klitschko’s work with the great Emmanuel Steward, who molded his well-reputed defensive game and boxing techniques. The elevation shown by Klitschko was further denoted as the Ukrainian steamrolled opponent after opponent, including earlier vanquisher Brewster, Calvin Brock, Sultan Ibragimov, Tony Thompson, Ruslan Chagaev, Eddie Chambers, and another earlier adversary in Peter, who he battered and stopped in ten to head up a superb run from 2006-2010.
And so to today. Wladimir Klitschko has now been the unified, lineal, consensual (call it what you will) World Heavyweight Champion for more than five years and hasn’t lost a fight since 2004. Within the past four years he has topped his largest threats in the form of previously undefeated Russian Alexander Povetkin, as well as hard-hitting British superstar and former Cruiserweight champion David Haye.
Yet, for all his successes and despite an amazing career ledger, at the time of print, of 62-3 (with 52 knockouts) hypercritical fans and stubborn mainstream media still won't cease their criticism - and with much justification. A certain void is still unfilled. A void which has nothing to do with any characteristics of Klitschko as the living, breathing, human being he is. Namely what we might call ‘The Tyson-factor’. The heavyweight title fights that have traditionally excited the collective public imagination are led by a war cry, and not a stiff jab. A Klitschko mega-bout invariably features a weary young puncher and an immovable wall - not two men looking to lay it all on the line in a ferocious slug-fest. Wladimir is by no means boring, not to mention that he is a national icon in his native Ukraine, but fans want competition, and Klitschko simply cannot provide that.
THE FULL ARTICLE WILL APPEAR IN THE PRINT AND EBOOK EDITION OF BOXIANA: VOLUME 1, TO BE PUBLISHED ON 28 NOVEMBER
COREY QUINCY is an ambitious boxing writer and avid fan with over three years of experience. Boxing is his bread-and-butter. Watching classic fights is like exploring the most perfect art gallery. Sugar Ray Robinson is his Leonardo Da Vinci, Muhammad Ali his Picasso, and Willie Pep his Michelangelo. Corey, from a rural town in northeastern Pennsylvania, USA, enjoys relaxation, is fascinated by modern innovations and technologies, relishes time with his family, regularly follows Basketball, European Soccer, MMA, and, of course, loves typing his thoughts on pugilism. He’s contributed to FIGHTHYPE.com, Boxing World Magazine, Ringnews24 and Boxiana among many other platforms. You can tweet him @Quincyboxingfan and email him at Coreyg100@yahoo.com. He spends approximately a quarter of his waking moments scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and reading emails – and he loves to talk before and after each and every fight!
Further exclusive previews of Volume 1 content, as well as further information about Boxiana's contributors will feature on the Boxiana blog in the coming weeks.
An anthology of new boxing writing Boxiana: Volume 1 will be published on 28 November 2014 through Matador Publishing, in both paperback book and eBook formats. Boxiana editor Luke G. Williams said: “In a world dominated by 140 character limits and the 24-hour news cycle, brevity and superficiality have become de rigueur. Boxiana takes a different approach; by using long-form journalism to take an in-depth look at boxing’s past, present and future, we are hoping that Boxiana will become a vital new voice in sports writing.”
In Volume 1:
Trevor Von Eeden, author of graphic novel The Original Johnson, analyses the significance of Jack Johnson; Mario Mungia tries his hand at amateur boxing; Ben Williams uncovers his grandfather’s bare-knuckle career; James Hernandez catches up with Jon Thaxton; Matthew Ogborn ponders boxers and retirement; rising light heavyweight Chris Hobbs recounts his life in the military and the ring; Rowland Stone recalls a heady night in 1992; Corey Quincy attempts to solve the Wladimir Klitschko conundrum and Luke G. Williams examines the meteoric rise of Deontay Wilder and the under-rated career of Chris Byrd.
Enquiries / review copies: +44 7958 319765 / firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow @boxianajournal