Predictions: Vitali Klitschko vs. Juan Carlos Gomez

Uatu says...

It's Dr. Ironfist versus the Black Panther for the WBC heavyweight title.

The good doctor is not coming off of a long layoff this time around, as he just fought in October. Gomez actually has the longer layoff.

Vitali is going to have his usual "home" ring advantage as this fight will take place in one of his adopted homes, Germany.

Vitali will enjoy the height advantage once again, probably close to three inches or so, maybe four, so I imagine Vitali will fight in his standing up, somewhat leaning back style, which will make it difficult for Gomez to get to him. Vitali still only has those two losses, his infamous quit on the stool loss to Byrd and his exciting stoppage loss to an exhausted Lennox Lewis.

Gomez is an interesting opponent, however. He still only has one loss, but it came in shocking fashion as he was a first-round KO victim to Yanqui Diaz, who isn't exactly a world beater. Gomez was a fast-handed, skilled heavyweight when he first entered the scene from the cruiserweight ranks. I don't think I have seen him fight for a few years now, but common sense would say that he hasn't gotten any faster, only slower. He could have slightly increased his power, but his last three fights have gone the full 12 rounds.

So what does this all add up to? I believe Gomez comes to win - I think he may actually want this fight more than Kiltschko. I also believe that his drive is not going to be anywhere near enough for him to win. He isn't going to knock Vitali out, he probably doesn't have enough power to keep Vitali honest, and he isn't going to be able to flurry or stick and move safely over a whole fight to get a decision. So the Vitali train keeps chugging

Vitali Klitschko by TKO in Round 7.

The Franchise says...

I have only seen Gomez fight once, so I am approaching this mostly from how Klitschko looked last time out. And actually, he looked pretty darn sharp in dispatching Samuel Peter. You certainly would not have automatically suspected he was coming off a layoff of nearly four years.

The suspicion here is that Gomez will have the same problem most people have with the Brothers Klitschko; namely, that they are too big and too tall. The idea is to get inside and rough them up, but that's tough to pull off for anyone, let alone a former cruiserweight.

There's no good reason to pick against Vitali since I expect he'll have advantages in size, reach, skill and power. Unless he's not taking this fight seriously for some reason, I like Klitschko to roll by mid-round KO.

Posted by uatu

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