December 15, 2008

Klitschko retains crown in style

Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko retained his WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles in Mannheim, Germany with a technical knockout of Hasim Rahman in round seven on Saturday.

Ukraine’s Vitali Klitschko (left) and WBC champion Samuel Peter, during a press conference in Berlin, Germany

The referee stopped the fight after Klitschko, 32, landed a series of punches to Rahman’s head and the American retreated to the ropes, barely able to stand. The Ukrainian had already knocked him down in round six.

“I thought I could land some punches earlier but it wasn’t worth it because Hasim Rahman knew he was up against the best and he was really focused, you could see that,” Klitschko, who has been dubbed ‘Dr. Steelhammer,’ told Reuters.

“He really hung in there and it wasn’t easy.” Klitschko told after improving his record to 52 wins and three defeats.

Rahman was unable to get past Klitschko’s left jab to land the kind of big punch that saw him beat world champion Lennox Lewis in 2001, when he knocked out the Briton with a right hook to record one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

Rahman, 36, had never really regained that form. He replaced Alexander Povetkin as Klitschko’s opponent in October after the Russian pulled out of the bout with a foot injury.

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