Israel's unbeaten heavyweight shows few of renowned skills during 25th straight win in NY.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Israel's unbeaten heavyweight Roman Greenberg displayed little of the skills that won him 24 fights. Still, he had more than enough Saturday in New York for Michael Simms.
In the main undercard bout before heavyweight contender Sultan Ibragimov fought Javier Mora, Greenberg looked sluggish and uncertain.
He did carry whatever action there was in recording a unanimous decision, but Simms blocked most of Greenberg's punches.
Greenberg, who moved to Israel when he was 11 and now lives in England, didn't look very comfortable in his first-ever fight at the Madison Square Garden. The best action came in the final minute of the 10th round, but by then the outcome was long decided.
Greenberg got the nod from the three judges, all by 99-91 scores as he won nine of the 10 rounds.
Billed as one of the quicker and more mature young fighters, the 24-year-old Greenberg looked plodding and, at times, frustrated by Simms. But Simms provided so little of a threat that the outcome never was in doubt.
Greenberg did land an assortment of body punches with his unorthodox style in which he carries his left arm high but to the side of his face.
Outweighing Simms 234 pounds to 213, he never was able to take advantage of that edge, however, to stagger Simms.
"I did what I had to do. You can obviously always do better," Greenberg said. "I am happy with the win, my trainer is happy. I am still learning, but soon I will get there."
"It feels very good to fight at Madison Square Garden, and some day, I will be fighting for the title in the big Garden."
Earlier, Israeli bantamweight Eylon Kedem defeated Manuel Angulo of Ecuador in a split decision after four rounds. The 22-year-old Kedem, who hails from Ra'anana, improved his career record to three wins, one loss and three draws.
Klitschko takes on Don King
Wladimir Klitschko needed only a couple swings to stop Ray Austin.
Now, the real heavyweight fight begins.
Klitschko earned a second-round technical knockout to defend his IBF title in Mannheim, Germany, and then his camp spent most of the postfight press conference blaming Don King, who promotes Austin, for holding up a heavyweight division unification fight.
Klitschko said talks with WBA champion Nikolai Valuev for a June or July fight will begin, assuming the 2.13-meter unbeaten Russian beats Ruslan Chagaev April 14.
Klitschko manager Bernd Broente said they will try to work with German promoter Wilfried Sauerland, who co-promotes Valuev along with King.
"Valuev wants it and I want it," Klitschko said. "But you can imagine how hard it is to deal with Don King."
The Klitschko camp blamed King for holding up their attempts at unification several times.
Valuev, who watched the fight from a hotel room in Berlin, said he wanted to fight Klitschko too. "Brother, see you in the ring," Valuev said. "Of course, it depends on my management."
Klitschko and older brother Vitali Klitschko promote themselves. "This fight is about more than two fighters, it's about two promoters," said Vitali Klitschko, the former WBC champion planning a comeback.
Wladimir Klitschko won his latest defense rather easily. After measuring Austin for one round, the Ukrainian knocked down the American 87 seconds into the second with at least three left hooks. The American climbed to his feet but referee Eddie Cotton stopped the fight.
"I was surprised he got back up, but he wasn't clear in the head," Klitschko said. "I was motivated by the talk from Austin and his promoter, Don King, before the fight."
Klitschko improved his record to 48-3 with 43 knockouts in the mandatory defense, while Austin fell to 24-4 with four draws and 16 knockouts.
Allon Sinai contributed to this report.
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