Why does Wladimir Klitschko get less respect than Floyd Mayweather?

Credit: Michael Sterling Eaton

The two most dominant fighters in boxing today are without question Floyd Mayweather and Wladimir Klitschko. Pretty Boy hasn’t come close to losing a fight since his first dance with Jose Luis Castillo in 2002. The only fighter who was at one time thought to threaten him — Manny Pacquiao — has since fallen by the wayside. Mayweather’s place as boxing’s Pound-for-Pound kingpin looks unassailable to all enemies but Father Time.

Big Wlad isn’t undefeated, but he hasn’t come close to losing a fight since his first dance with Sam Peter in September 2005. Sixteen victories, ten of them by knockout, and seven years later, no one even remotely threatens big Wlad. Like Mayweather, he looks unbeatable in the face of any opponent except the tickling clock.

Yet Klitschko gets far less respect than Mayweather. Not that Mayweather doesn’t have his detractors, and even many who acknowledge his greatness evince no great admiration for the man.

Nonetheless, Mayweather is acclaimed while many blame Klitschko for the moribund state of the heavyweight division. Why is Dr. Steelhammer so disdained, while Mayweather is so applauded (if grudgingly so)?

The answer comes down to one simple idea: Klitschko is boring. Take both men’s approaches to boxing. Both fighters are fundamentally defensive, but whereas Floyd Mayweather puts on a spellbinding display of grace and skill, Klitschko relies on a simple stick-and-move approach.

Klitschko’s somewhat mobile, jab-heavy efforts work only because he has a huge size advantage over most opponents, and the few who are his own size have far less ability. Mayweather makes opponents miss by a matter of fractions of an inch, and he looks great doing it. Klitschko makes opponents miss by several inches, and he looks merely above average doing it.

Furthermore, Klitschko’s out of the ring persona is also a problem. I appreciate that he is a consummate gentleman outside the ring, but even good guys can generate drama. Dr. Steelhammer is so restrained he sounded forced when he verbally retaliated against David Haye’s over-hyped trash talking. Mayweather, on the other hand, is a quote-seeker’s dream.

At the end of the day, if Wladimir Klitschko wonders why he isn’t as successful as Floyd Mayweather, despite being as dominant, he has only himself to blame. There is little he can do about his grinding approach to winning fights, since that approach is designed to protect Klitschko’s suspect chin and recovery rate.

However, he could have been a little more flashy or a little more menacing outside of the ring, and he could have started years ago. You don’t need to be a jerk to have an interesting media persona. If Dr. Steelhammer had acted little more like his moniker implies, it certainly would have paid him dividends in terms of both his legacy and his pocketbook.

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  1. I LOVE this article. Wlad is a TERRIBLE fighter. One of the worst I have ever seen. This guy says boxing is an art, NOTHING he does is artistic. He’s AWFUL fighter.

  2. You’re wrong, Wladimir Klitschko has from time to time been so dominate and has managed to stay consistent year around, utilizing his superior size and talent, not too mention an excellent amatuer pedegree, and a defense that matches if not outclasses Floyd’s. Not to mention he has a Ph.D. 50 years from now Wladimir will be a legend
    in his own right while Floyd will still be condemned for not fighting the best, and Klitschko doesn’t care who he fights, Floyd picks his opponents.

    • HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Wlad will NEVER EVER EVER Have the skillset of Mayweather. Wlad is a HORRIBLE fighter and he has the nerv to say that what he does is an art. Mayweather has painted so many piccasso portraits in the ring, its not even funny. Wlad has NEVER painted a piccasso. NEVER EVER EVER. He’s AWFUL. You say Floyd picks his opponents. He so good, that he can fight a jr middle weight that outweights him by 15lbs, walk them down, make it look easy, and people will call him a cherrypick. Wlad is in a weak era of his division and he ADMITTED that povetkin was his BEST opponent LMAO. Wlad doesnt have a Canelo to fight or a Mosley, Ortiz. The only bad opponent Floyd has faced is Cotto because he was damaged good. And ducking Pacman wont outshine Floyd’s entire catalog of poccasso paintings. Wlad has NO resume. He just fights these short bums, and runs and clinches. Floyd will stand in the pocket and walk you down no matter how BIG you are! GTFO!!!

    • LMFAO! Wlad’s defense is as good or better than Mayweather’s? Jesus, seriously man, what have you been smoking and where did you get it, because I don’t want to buy any of it by mistake!

  3. Klitshko & Floyd Gayweather are both terrible ugly fighter, boxed or touching and then hugged… It’s just like I am watching Gay marriage… These two should not categorized as boxer, these two are most likely fit to GAYRAPER fight.
    That’s true Klisthko don’t duck like Gayweather but what can you he too scare to Pacman, he rather retired & go jail just to hide pacman.

  4. The same old Klitschko bashing. Unsuccesful? Makes millions of Dollars, 2nd most sucessful title defensive of all time, 2nd longest raining champion of all time. The facts speak for themselves, regardless of your opinion. Klitschko wins just because of his size? If that were true why isn’t 7ft Julius Long the Undisputed heavyweight champin of the world? Wins just because he is better than his competition. As opposed to winning because he’s worse than his competion? Duh! Being better than your competion is how you become the Champion. Wlads critics are so desperate that they have to use winning as a criticism. Boxing ruined itself long before Wladimir became champion. But they blame Klitschko. Blaming klitschko is only going to hurt boxing’s reputation even more. Its time for the critics to pull their heads out of their ass and accept the facts!

    • Klitschko hurts himself. He is such a TERRIBLE fighter. Most title defenses in a weak era of champions. And look at how he fights. Like a BEYOTCH. True champions have that gene in them. He just doesnt have it. These guys are TERRIBLE for the sport and need to be banned from buying boxing gloves, let alone being in the ring.

      • How are klitschkos last 15 apponants any worse than the guys that Lennox Lewis fought. Lennox Lewis career doesnt even come close to what Wladimir has already achieved. And Wladimir will probably fight on for 3 more years.

      • Lets have a look at the best guys that Lewis fought. Andrew Golota KO1 – He always sucked. David Tua UD-12 – Already lost to Chris Bird who at that time lost to Wladimir Klitschko and who Klitschko Brutally KOs to win the IBF. Frans Botha-KO2, after a past his prime Tyson already knocked him out. Mike Tyson-KO8, he waits till Mike Tyson is all but completely washed up. A lackluster decision win over a past his prime old Evander Holyfield-UD12. Hasim Rahman-KO4. A fight that only meant something because Hasim Rahman knocked Lewis ass Spark Out in the 5th round the previous fight. And a fluke cut induced TKO 6-Vitali Klitschko in a fight where lewis was getting his ass kicked and he could barely stand up. Then Lewis bitches out of a rematch and retires like a coward! This is the record of the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion before Wladimir Klitschko.

  5. If you jab and hold your way against tomato cans like vlad does you will never get the respect mayweather has.Klitchko’s holding tactics are downright dirty and ruin the sport of boxing. I agree with Jodi that it would better for boxing if there were no more Klitchko’s .Floyd Mayweather is a master of boxing and is keeping the sport of boxing alive in the mainstream.Thanks to the klitchko’s the division with the richest history in all if boxing is dead and most youth don’t aspire to be the next heavyweight champion of the world.

  6. Hey FOX News! Check out my comments, and how I use facts to spin lies! I’m ready for a career with you, telling Teatards what they want to hear.

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