Last night WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko scored his 43rd victory and registered his 40th knockout with his 10th-round stoppage against Tomasz Adamek. Vitali has the highest KO percentage in history and has not lost a single stanza of boxing in years. It could be argued that Dr. Ironfist is the most dominant heavyweight of all time. But what about the Greatest -- Muhammad Ali? How would Vitali have done against Ali? So I asked the man who would have been in Ali's corner against Klitschko -- Angelo Dundee.
Dundee, who recently turned 90, effused, "Vitali is great -- the best out there today but Muhammad would have beaten him by just fighting the way he normally did. Muhammad would have moved in and out, side to side, popped him with the jab and fast combinations. Vitali relies on the jab but Muhammad would have smothered his jab and hit him with his own -- time and again."
When pressed as to how Ali would have coped with Vitali's thunderous right hand Dundee insisted, "Really, Vitali would never hit him with that right. He was too fast and would have easily seen the right coming. Muhammad's opponents could never believe how quick his reflexes were. No disrespect but Vitali would have been shocked."
Dundee continued, "It would have been an ugly fight. Muhammad would have won an easy decision or maybe the ref would have stopped it as Vitali got banged up. And this is not to take anything away from Vitali. He is special. But it is just a matter of styles and Muhammad had the style to deal with Vitali."
Dundee observed that as good as Vitali is, "He could be better. He pulls back when he jabs and he doesn't throw enough uppercuts even though all the guys he fights lean in."One of the greatest trainers in history also suggested, "Vitali should develop a left hook. It is just jab, jab, right hand. He needs a good hook." And by the way, as the Henry Cooper, Sonny Banks, and Frazier fights attest, it was the left hook that Ali was always most vulnerable to.