By Karl Freitag
Photos: RIA Novosti, Denis Tyrin
In the biggest heavyweight title fight in years, WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51 KOs) scored four knockdowns in a dominant, but sloppy, twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Alexander Povetkin (26-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday night at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia.
Good first round as Povetkin came out aggressively and both fighters landed good punches. Klitschko dropped Povetkin in round two with a short left hook. Povetkin brought the pressure in round three. Lots of clicking and wrestling marred the bout, mostly initiated by Klitschko and allowed by Povetkin. The action had allowed to a crawl by round six, but Klitschko opened up in round seven and dropped Povetkin three times, although two could arguably be throwdowns.
Povetkin was game, but was consistently outlanded by Wlad. Klitschko rocked Povetkin in round eleven, but referee Luis Pabon took a point from Klitschko for pushing down a wobbly Povetkin. Scores were 119-104 on all cards.
Longtime cruiserweight contender Grigory Drozd (37-1, 26 KOs) surprised previously unbeaten European champion Mateusz Masternak (30-1, 22 KOs) to claim the EBU belt via eleventh round stoppage. Masternak suffered a bad cut over his left eye in round two and Drozd methodically took him apart, finally getting a referee’s stoppage with a barrage of punches.
Former WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (32-2-1, 20 KOs) scored a twelve round unanimous decision over Jovo Pudar (30-4, 17 KOs). Chagaev dropped Pudar in round three and again in round eight.
Former cruiserweight title challenger and Olympic gold medalist Rakhim Chakhkiev (17-1, 13 KOs) scored a tenth round KO over the very tough Giulian Ilie (20-7-2, 6 KOs). A cracking right hand finished Ilie.