Friday, March 20, 2009

Vitali Klitschko vs Juan Carlos Gomez Predictions

Tomorrow night in Stuttgart, Germany, Vitali Klitscko (249) will be making his second appearance in the ring since his return from an almost four year lay-off. Southpaw Juan Carlos Gomez (230 1/2) should provide the big man with a stiffer test than Samuel Peter did back in October, but can the former Cuban amateur star pull the upset?

Here's what The Boxing Bulletin writers have to say...

Gomez has the skills to be competitive with Vitali, I just question his conditioning at this stage. How long has it been since a fighter moved to heavyweight without overdoing it? Holyfield?

There are other stylistic issues that make this a tough task for the former cruiserweight champ. One is the height of Klitschko. It's hard to find the range against someone who really knows how to fight tall, and I just think Gomez prefers to fight guys his size, who will come to him.

The one thing I think he has going for him is the way he controls the pace of fights. In Big Brother he has an opponent who also likes to work rather slowly, so it's possible that he steals a few rounds, or more.

I see a very slow fight where Vitali's heavier blows decide it, either by late TKO or decision. I do think he'll be the stronger fighter if it goes late. - Lee Payton

Gomez will cause some trouble early. It's just difficult for me to see him outboxing Vitali with that long jab. Klitschko is 37 years old and Peter was what amounted to be a tune up, so you can't rule anything out. But I'm going to take Vitali by mid round stoppage. - Mark Lyons

Had Gomez weighed in around 210-215, I just might have believed he was capable of pulling off the upset. But at 230 1/2, it sounds like we'll be seeing the same overweight, uninspired looking fighter from his most recent outings, and nothing I saw in those performances made me think he's capable of beating Vitali.

I'm going with the big guy by 9-3 type scores. - Andrew Fruman

Gomez' southpaw stance, size, and quickness will give Vitali Klitschko some trouble. I expect an even fight through 8, but Gomez' stamina will start to falter and Vitali should win the fight down the stretch, probably by knockout within the last two rounds. Vitali will have to be more responsible defensively than he was against Sam Peter, who didn't have the speed to touch him.

I'll say Klitschko by TKO 12. - Michael Nelson


dread said...

When is the last time Vitali was in a fight that went the distance?

And, how is Juan Carlos Gomez a stiffer challenge than Sam Peter? Peter brings it even when he's huffing and puffing to do it. Wlad beat him silly for 12 rounds and he still kept coming.

JC Gomez has done less in the professional ring than the Southern Disaster. If he was fighting Sam Peter you might give him a shot. But Vitali is nothing if not well conditioned and disciplined.

KO mid rounds.