Jameel McCline faced Wladimir Klitschko in 2002, losing by 10th-round stoppage

“He was so hard to fight because he has a great jab. He had really good speed and he was extremely intelligent.

“He threw shots to the belly that I never thought a heavyweight could get away with, so quickly, without me catching him with a left hook on the way out, or a right hand on the way out. His intelligence translated into ramrod jabs that I was unable to get around. I spent some time with Wladimir in Austria two years ago when he was getting ready for Mariusz Wach. And I explained how he and his brother have effectively changed the heavyweight division. He said, ‘Well, what do you mean?’ I said, ‘Well, think about it: Ten years ago we all fought each other. No. 9 fought no. 4. No. 3 fought no. 7. No. 8 fought no. 2. And the No. 1 and the champion fought everyone. Now, you guys beat guys that come out of nowhere, who no-one has really seen. They’ve had maybe only one HBO date prior, if any, and all the sudden you’re fighting them. The shot of their life. And no one sees them again.’ And he thought about it. He was quiet for about a full fifteen seconds. And then he said, ‘You’re right.’ And I said, ‘Not that those guys aren’t decent fighters but it’s completely different. Everyone is out to get a shot at Klitschko as opposed to being the best that they can be. The Klitschkos transcended the heavyweight division. They completely changed how things work in the heavyweight division. Ten years after my fight with him he is still relevant in so many ways in the heavyweight division. It’s just really brilliant and amazing what he has been able to accomplish for all these years. He hasn’t gone down at all. The competition is completely different than it used to be. But, still, he beat that competition. Now he’s beating this lesser competition. Not taking anything away from anyone.”


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