A dominant, 12-round unanimous decision for premier heavyweight champion Wladimir Kiltschko over Mariusz Wach in Hamburg's O2 World Arena is yet another testament to the longevity of Dr. Steelhammer.
The 36-year-old took a man four years his junior the distance in the latest defense of his WBA, WBO, IBO, IBF and The Ring heavyweight titles and necessarily displayed his full arsenal against his formidable opponent.
With so much at stake on Saturday, Klitschko not only showed the stamina that has made him unbeatable for the past eight years but also the savvy that has helped him reach the heights he has ascended to.
To Wach's credit, it was amazing that he was able to stay in the bout for its grueling duration, considering the number of devastating blows he took to the head.
It was also an unprecedented scenario for Klitschko, as he had never gone up against anyone taller than he. But Wach is towering at over 6'7", about one and a half inches taller. He is a punishing fighter that hung tough in the hopes of retaining his unblemished record.
That said, Klitschko overcame the resilient Pole's ability to hold his ground and a brief scare after absorbing Wach's best shot in Round 5. FightNetwork.com has the highlights of the fight where that can be seen, as well as the numerous jabs that Klitschko threw and ultimately used as his go-to strategy to methodically lull Wach to defeat.
Although his victory was lopsided on all three judges' cards in the end, it was only the fourth time since his last loss that Klitschko was taken to the full 12 rounds by an opponent. It was also the fourth time, of course, that he won by unanimous decision.
After the fight, Klitschko made sure to pay respect to his fellow competitor (via Dan Rafael of ESPN):
I have a lot of respect for Marius Wach...I didn't know a man could take so much punishment, but he kept going. There was no shot that would take him out.
What was perhaps most impressive in terms of Klitschko's longevity is that his longtime trainer and friend, the recently passed Emanuel Steward (h/t USA TODAY), wasn't in his corner for the first time ever in his career.
An emotional Klitschko also took time to mention Steward and how much he missed him. He had dedicated the fight in his honor.
In the face of so much adversity and with all of his accolades still on the line, it was another example of perseverance and seemingly business as usual for Klitschko despite undoubted inner turmoil.
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