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Klitschko was dominant but never really got his due

Wladimir Klitschko had to lose before he finally became accepted by most fight fans.

Now that he's retiring, maybe it's time to fully appreciate the former heavyweight champion who never seemed to get his due.

Wladimir Klitschko | AP
Klitschko was as dominant as he was boring, holding pieces of the heavyweight title for the better part of a decade in a reign not seen since the days of Joe Louis. His fights weren't always works of art, but they were the work of a boxer who understood how to control space and distance in the ring.

American boxing fans never warmed to him, but he could fill soccer stadiums in Germany. Fans there didn't complain about his cautious style, instead reveling in his ability to dominate an opponent from the first bell to the last.

His brother Vitali — now the mayor of Kiev — came first and between them the two Ukrainians raised in the old Soviet athletic system pretty much dispatched anyone in their path. Vitali Klitschko came within a bad cut of beating Lennox Lewis in 2003, and Wladimir didn't lose for 11 years after suffering a shocking knockout loss to Lamon Brewster in 2004.

Outside the ring there was a lot to like about both of them. They held advanced college degrees, spoke four languages and refused to talk trash about their opponents or anyone else.

Author:  (Associated Press)
Source: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/08/04/1724942/klitschko-was-dominant-never-really-got-his-due

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