As has been the rumor for a few weeks now, Wladimir Klitschko will defend his bucket of heavyweight title belts against Poland's Marius Wach on November 10 in Germany.
"It is always something special to box in Hamburg," said Klitschko. "This fight will also be special because I have never fought against a boxer who is bigger than me and has a longer reach."
Klitschko (58-3, 51 KO) and brother Vitali have frankly run out of potentially intriguing opponents, in part because the heavyweight division remains shallow, in part because they've already beaten everyone worthwhile who will dare to step in the ring with them, and in part because they're so good it's pretty hard to imagine anyone out there giving them a genuinely serious challenge.
So Wladimir has to sell the mediocre Wach (27-0, 15 KO) on the fact that the Pole is really big. At 6'7" with an 82" reach, Wach has about an inch on Wladimir in the familiar measures of fighters, and the 32-year-old Wach has been weighing in at just under 250 for recent fights. He is a big guy, but like most of the big guys out there, he lacks the skill and discipline of the Klitschkos, who have combined size with actual ability to dominate. There have been plenty of big, tall guys with big, long reaches in recent years. None of them have been nearly as good as Wladimir or Vitali, and Wach isn't either.
This should be a frankly easy win for Wladimir, as he's likely to improve to 3-0 in 2012, with previous walkover wins against Jean-Marc Mormeck and Tony Thompson. In those fights, Wladimir had to find a way to sell the matchup, too. He and Emanuel Steward tried to compare Mormeck, an old, washed-up cruiserweight, to Mike Tyson (which even Mormeck laughed off), and Thompson was sold on the fact that four years ago, when he wasn't 40 years old, he wasn't completely embarrassed by Wladimir, though he did lose almost every round and was knocked out in their first meeting.
Klitschko will go 3-0 this year and walk into 2013 having made good money, but as far as legacy goes, these fights are doing nothing for them. I understand and accept that as long as he's fighting, he has to fight someone, and hey, Wach is undefeated and tall. But it's not a competitive matchup on paper, either. Wladimir is treading water in a big way these days, and so is Vitali, who faces Manuel Charr on September 8 in another fight that doesn't figure to be competitive at all.