In a fitting tribute to International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Manny Steward who died last month after a short battle with diverticulitis at the age of 68, The Ring, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion “Dr. Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko savagely brutalized mammoth Polish fighter “The Viking” Mariusz Wach to earn a shutout unanimous decision triumph Saturday at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
The 6-foot-6, 243 pound Klitschko (59-3, 51 KOs), who has triumphed in 17 consecutive bouts since being TKO’d by Lamon Brewster in April 2004, took Steward’s advice and hired his primary sparring partner, Johnathon Banks, to work as a cornerman.
Despite being utterly shellacked, the 32-year-old Wach (27-1, 15 KOs), who stands 6-foot-8 and possesses an 82 inch reach, managed to rock the indomitable Ukrainian with a powerful punch in the fifth and displayed surreal testicular fortitude to remain standing after enduring a horrible 36 minute beating.
The 36-year-old Klitschko has now managed to defend his belts on 14 straight occasions and continues his quest to overcome Joe Louis’ longstanding record of 25 successful defenses.
Whether or not Wladimir Klitschko ultimately breaks Louis’ mark, it is more evident by the day that “Dr. Steelhammer” is one of the greatest heavyweight prizefighters in the annals of the sport.