Editorials

Klitschko vs. Jennings: At 39, Still No Sign of Father Time for Dr. Steelhammer

Klitschko Jennings - Marilyn Paulino (17)
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing

It’s safe to say that most 39 year olds are preparing for the inevitable nightmare that is turning 40, watching their toes disappear behind their increasingly rotund belly. However, for Wladimir Klitschko, who turned the ripe old age of 39 just a few days ago, he is clearly the exception to the rule.

Still as chiselled as he once was in his teens, the immovable heavyweight monarch is now only one month away from his showdown with proud American, Bryant Jennings in the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden in New York. With his first American venture in years edging closer, Dr. Steelhammer appears to be just as ruthless at 39, and despite his new role as doting dad, there are no signs of father time catching up with the talented Ukrainian.

Jennings, the man facing the dreaded task of defeating the Heavyweight giant on April 25, deservedly earned the shot after snatching a split-decision victory against Mike Perez back in July. Unlike the reigning champion’s previous limited opponents, Jennings not only boasts an impressive undefeated record, but is a very capable operator who does the basics exceptionally well, thus providing the nine-year-his-senior Klitschko with a legitimate danger when the pair do eventually meet in a few weeks time.

The 39-year-old Klitschko has always been criticized for his choice of opponent, or even more importantly, lack of genuine foes, but his last bout against Kubrat Pulev was quite the contrary. Klitschko demonstrated a renewed sense of spitefulness as he pummelled the highly ranked Pulev for every minute of every round, finally forcing the spotlight to once again shine directly on the iconic Heavyweight division.

The fact that he has chosen to face another highly rated undefeated fighter in his next tussle is a refreshing shot in the arm for the sport’s legitimate big boys. In addition, with both Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury displaying their eagerness to do battle with Klitschko, the only way is up for the unpredictable weight class.

In spite of this though, could the American underdog have an easier night than one would anticipate against the feared Dr Steelhammer? How much longer can Wladimir Klitschko evade the undisputed and unavoidable father time?

Over the years, countless fighters have struggled with this scenario; more recently was the ageless Bernard Hopkins’ turn, who at the staggering age of 49 was competing at the elite level of the Light Heavyweight Division. It only takes a split second for father time to sneak up on a fighter; therefore, it could undeniably happen to a fighter such as Klitschko who has had many tough battles himself.

Nevertheless, there is no way of truly knowing if the reigning IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO and Ring Heavyweight supremo is feeling the strain of age. But even with fatherhood now in full swing for Wlad, father time is showing no danger of approaching. Regrettably, for Jennings, the great Ukrainian champion is looking better than ever.

 

Header photo by Getty Images

https://www.wedgies.com/question/5516d7892c9375140001076d

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