March 8, 2000
Wladimir Klitschko, the European heavyweight champion, approaches the last stage of sparring for his upcoming fight on March 18 at Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg.
Three name fighters are working as sparring partners for Klitschko: Canadian Egerton Marcus who dropped a decision to Henry Maske in 1995 and who campaigns at heavyweight in the meantime.
Everett "Bigfoot" Martin, one of the most colorful characters in boxing, fought against many former or future world champions, among others Tim Witherspoon, George Foreman, Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, Larry Holmes and Tony Tucker. None of those legends was able to knock out Martin. Even Wladimir Klitschko who fought twice in official contests against "Bigfoot" was only able to stop the hard headed American once by a technical knockout.
Last but not least Franco Wanyama of Uganda should be mentioned. The experienced Wanyama is a tall cruiserweight with quick footwork. Klitschko's coach Fritz Sdunek: "All three of them are perfect sparring partners. Marcus comes forward and attempts to put pressure on Wladimir. Martin prefers to counter punch and is able to absorb a high amount of punishment. He's always dangerous. And Wanyama is hard to hit for Wladimir as he always moves and counters."
"Wolfgramm is an awkward opponent", Sdunek continues. "He is very offensively and throws dangerous hooks and he has a lot of power. Wladimir must remain on a distance, he must counter and move on quick feet. He must not let Wolfgramm surprise him and he must work the jab. My pick: The fight might last longer because Wolfgramm has decisively improved in his last fights. It's possible that stamina will be a decisive factor. But as everybody knows our guys are always extremely well prepared."
Wladimir Klitschko's record stands at 31 wins, 29 of them by knockout, and one loss. His opponent Wolfgramm won 18 of his 19 professional contests, 13 of them by knockout. He dropped one decision. Both fought against each other in the Olympic super heavyweight finals of Atlanta in 1996. Then Klitschko won a close 7:5 decision.
Wladimir Klitschko: "Of course I studied Wolfgramm on video together with my coach Fritz Sdunek. We watched his last fights. I have to say that this will be a very hard fight. Wolfgramm is not as fat and immobile anymore as he was in 1996. He slimmed down completely and he became more mobile. And he still possesses the same hard punch he already had in 1996. I have to be careful and must not leave myself wide open. In addition I'm particularly motivated because I fight in front of my fans and friends in Hamburg, my home of choice in Germany. Many people from the Ukraine will come over as well. As Vitali fights on April 1st in Berlin against Razor Ruddock some combine the events and make a short vacation in Germany."