Boxing: Sosnowski will leave Klitschko still looking for defining moment

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The Independent Online

Vitali Klitschko has made a dozen or so leading contenders and heavyweight pretenders look like nervous, clueless novices and there is every reason to believe that Albert Sosnowski of Poland and Essex will add his name to that sorry list.

Klitschko will defend his WBC heavyweight title tonight against Sosnowski in front of 25,000 fans in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The fight will also attract about 13 million to their TV screens in the host country, where they idolise the Ukrainian.

However, Klitshcko, close to his 38th birthday, knows that time is running out for a final defining fight in a division that has been suffering since Lennox Lewis departed for his slippers and a thousand Caribbean sunsets in 2004. Lewis, by the way, stopped Klitschko on cuts in a savage brawl in Los Angeles in 2003.

The sensible money is on a win for Klitschko by round 10 tonight, but there is something different about Sosnowski.

He has lived in Essex since 1998 and I doubt he will roll over as easily as many have in world title fights with Klitschko, who has stopped or knocked out 37 of his 39 victims.

Sosnowski, who featured in Poland's Celebrity Big Brother, has more than just pride on his side, which should make for a scrap. In recent heavyweight fights a seemingly endless batch of woeful fighters has disgraced the sport by not even trying against Klitschko.

It has been the same for Vitali's younger and more formidable brother, Wladimir, who holds three world title belts.

Sosnowski, who has lost twice in 48 fights, will be about six inches shorter than Klitschko and will need to stay far enough away yet not get to the point where he will be left open and exposed to Klitschko's predictable but thunderous right fist.

Sosnowski, 31, lacks the speed and instant one-shot power of David Haye, the WBA champion. That puts him at risk of not being able to salvage a lost cause, which is something that traditionally made the heavyweight division sport's richest prize. It is also the reason that Klitschko and his representatives are negotiating so hard with the Briton's camp. Haye has won lost causes from the canvas.

"He has no chance on paper, but in boxing everybody has a chance," insisted Sosnowski's promoter, Barry Hearn. "If little Albert can go beyond five or six rounds then it will get very interesting. I will not be the only person on the edge of their seat shouting: 'Go on, my son'."