Other Sport

Klitschko retains WBC title

2009-09-27 09:03

Los Angeles - Vitali Klitschko easily defended his World Boxing Council heavyweight title, pummelling previously unbeaten Cristobal Arreola through 10 rounds before the challenger's corner threw in the towel.

The one-sided fight ended with a victory for Ukraine's Klitschko when Arreola's trainer Henry Ramirez waved it off before the start of the 11th round, telling referee to Jon Schorle to halt the slaughter.

"I know he was hurt," Klitschko said. "I hit him a lot. He has a great, great chin."

"I landed a couple of very hard punches to his head, but he still stayed on his feet."

Klitschko, who won every round on one of the judge's scorecards and all but one each on the other two cards, improved to 38-2 with 37 knockouts while Mexican-American Arreola dropped to 27-1.

Big crowd

Klitschko appeared to taunt Arreola throughout most of the fight, keeping his hands low and sticking his chin out.

Arreola showed he can take a punch but left many wondering how he was able to win 27 consecutive fights in the heavyweight division when he bombed so badly in his first career title fight.

"He beat my (expletive)," Arreola said. "Plain and simple."

"I need to get back to the gym. No more Coronas," he added, a reference to a Mexican beer. "I am not going to let this break me."

Klitschko bloodied Arreola's nose in the eighth round, keeping the challenger away with his long reach and a straight left jab in front of a crowd of more than 16 000 at Staples Centre arena.

He landed more big punches in the fourth and sixth rounds that stopped Arreola in his tracks but didn't send him to the floor. Arreola, who was trying to make history by becoming the first Mexican-American heavyweight champ, took a pounding but showed he has heart.

Klitschko seized control

"In the fourth round I hit him with a left hook and he still stayed on his feet," Klitschko said. "In the sixth I hit him with a right cross on the chin and he shook. But he still came forward. I was very surprised by his chin and he has great heart."

Ramirez said he had no choice but to stop the fight when he did.

"He was taking too much punishment," Ramirez said of his fighter. "It was not an easy decision, but I had to do it."

Arreola tried to work through Klitschko's defence in the middle rounds by counterpunching more. It got him some sympathy cheers from the pro-Mexico crowd but it didn't take long for Klitschko to adjust and seize control again.

"In the middle rounds I felt like I found a way to get to Vitali but he adapted," said Arreola, who sobbed uncontrollably in the ring after the fight was stopped. "I was no longer able to catch him with the punches I was hitting him with in the seventh and eighth rounds.

Two brothers

"If you take any credit in a loss then that is the heart of a loser."

It was the second defence of the WBC title for Klitschko since he began his comeback from a long layoff due to injury.

He recorded an eighth round TKO of Sam Peter in October 2008 to win the belt.

Klitschko first took the WBC title back in 2004 with a similar demolition of Corrie Sanders at Staples Centre before being sidelined for four years with a string of injuries.

Staples Centre was also the scene of his gutsiest fight six years ago, when he lost a bloody battle to Britain's Lennox Lewis.

Vitali is the older of the two fighting Klitschko brothers who dominate the heavyweight division by holding four of the five world titles.

Wladimir is the International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Organisation belt holder.

They are the only siblings in boxing history to simultaneously own world heavyweight titles.

While Wladimir is a more methodical boxer of the two, Vitali isn't afraid to mix it up but says he is not always looking for the knockout.

Asked if people should be disappointed they didn't see a straight knockout Saturday Vitali said, "What do you want? Everyone in boxing, not just the US, says it is not special if you don't win by KO.

"I want to use my head after my boxing career. That is why I work a lot on my defence."

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