Saturday, December 05, 2020  |



Klitschko halts Chagaev, wins RING title


Wladimir Klitschko boxed a near-perfect match against Ruslan Chagaev, dominating the southpaw beltholder to a technical ninth-round stoppage to win the vacant RING magazine heavyweight title in front of 60,000 fans at the Veltins-Arena, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany Saturday.

Klitschko (53-3, 47 knockouts) won every round of the bout that was televised live on ESPN Classic in the U.S. and scored a second-round knockdown en route to convincing Chagaev (25-1-1, 17 KOs) to stay on his stool rather than come out for the 10th round.

Klitschko's blueprint for success was simple: work his jab, step to his left, and occasionally drop his powerful right hand, which produced the flash knockdown Chagaev suffered in the second round.

Chagaev, a skilled and experienced boxer, had no answer for Klitschko's cautious but effective tactics, which controlled the distance and tempo of the one-sided bout. Klitschko's heavy left jab kept the 6-foot-1 Uzbek at bay and in line for the right hand, which was fired with more regularity going into the late rounds of the bout.

After watching his fighter absorb a series of one-two combinations while against the ropes in the final minute of the ninth round, trainer Michael Timm kept Chagaev on his stool. Referee Eddie Cotton waved the bout off one second into the 10th round.

With the victory, Klitschko added Chagaev's WBA title to the IBF, WBO and IBO belts he already held, as well as recognition as the “real” heavyweight champion from THE RING. The magazine's heavyweight title had been vacant ever since Klitschko's brother Vitali, who won it in 2004, briefly retired in 2005.

A full report on Saturday's heavyweight championship will be filed by Michael Rosenthal who was ringside in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.