Who would have thought that a six-foot-seven, 252 pound heavyweight champ would outwork and be more aggressive than boxing’s pound-for-pound king? That’s what happened on Saturday night at STAPLES Center, when WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko threw more punches in 10 rounds in his dominating title defense over Cris Arreola than pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, Jr. threw in 12 rounds in his defeat of Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19.
HBO showed a replay of the Mayweather-Marquez fight prior to the Klitschko-Arreola match on Sept. 26, and a comparison of the punch statistics might be surprising to fight fans who think the heavyweight division produces only slow, unexciting fights. Klitschko threw 802 punches over 10 rounds while Mayweather threw just 493 punches over 12 rounds. Two-hundred-eighty-three of Klitschko’s blows were power punches, while Mayweather threw a mere 105 power punches.
Mayweather, who has been labeled the fastest man in boxing, is 11 ½ inches shorter and weighed-in 106 pounds less than Klitschko for his bout against Marquez, who was a naturally smaller fighter and moved up two divisions to fight Mayweather.
“The punch stats show that the heavyweights are not always less entertaining than the lightweights,” said Tom Loeffler, Managing Director, K2 Promotions. “Vitali once again showed his dominance of the heavyweight division in front of a full house at STAPLES Center and even outworked the pound-for-pound king, while fighting someone his same weight.
“His work-rate was incredible and this was the third time he put on a great show at Staples.”
Klitschko, who holds the highest knockout percentage in the history of the heavyweight division, looked sharp in his third fight since returning from a four year retirement due to injuries. A crowd of more than 16,000 witnessed what many critics and experts say was one of the finest performances of his career.
“This was the best condition that I have ever seen Vitali in, and I don’t see anyone beating him in this shape,” said Fritz Sdunek, Klitschko’s trainer.
The title defense was Klitschko’s second successful victory over a No. 1 contender since winning the WBC title from champion emeritus Samuel Peter in October, 2008. Klitschko followed up the Peter victory with a ninth-round TKO of No. 1 challenger Juan Carlos Gomez before he scored a 10th round TKO over No. 1 contender Arreola on Saturday.
“I was surprised at how tough and determined Arreola was,” Klitschko said. “He was really well prepared and took many more punches than I expected.”