Boxing: Klitschko faces battle with body as well as Peter

When Samuel Peter and Vitali Klitschko climb through the ropes tonight for their World Boxing Council heavyweight fight at the O2 World Arena in Berlin it brings together two serious punchers in a division that is barely recognisable as the place where the greats of the ring once performed.

Peter, who was born in Nigeria, is promoted by Don King, whose experience and touch has graced dozens of the sport's finest heavyweight fights from The Rumble in the Jungle to many of Mike Tyson's brief encounters. However, King's latest champion is slow, ponderous and only dangerous against old men lacking in motivation.

In the opposite corner is perhaps the best of the eight boxers from the former Soviet republics to have won versions of the world heavyweight title in the last five years. Klitschko was once rescued from his own bravery in a bloody encounter against Lennox Lewis, who was certainly the last great champion, and later that night had nearly a hundred stitches sewn into his face to close the wounds.

Lewis refused Klitschko a rematch and in 2004 the towering fighter from Ukraine, who has a Phd and once ran for mayor of Kiev, finally won the title. But after one defence his knees collapsed and he was forced to retire.

Tonight the pair will enter the ring having left a total of 57 of their 65 victims on the floor or requiring a helping hand to stand, and there appears to be little chance the fight will last 12 rounds. There is a good chance that Klitschko, who is 6ft 8ins and weighs about 18 stone, will face defeat from his own body rather than Peter's heavy fists.

It is a difficult fight to predict – King has issued a "don't blink warning" – because of Klitschko's absence since December 2004 and the doubts about his body. However, old fighters never lose their punch even when they are sucking through straws and that gives the veteran an old-fashioned heavyweight edge.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand discusses Trident and the NHS in an episode of the The Trews.
news
News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
film
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
News
video
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrator

£14500 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Infrastructure / Development Support

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunity to join a...

Recruitment Genius: Partnership Relationship Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Partnership Relationship Mana...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Developer - Xamarin

£45000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore