Sunday, 27 October 2013

Bryan Vasquez v Rene Gonzalez

The most under the radar world title fight of this past weekend saw Costa Rican Bryan Vasquez (32-1, 17) becoming a 2-time WBA "interim" Super Featherweight champion.

The 26 year old Vasquez, known to some as "El Tequito", took on little known Nicaraguan visitor Rene Gonzalez (31-6-1-1, 23). Although Gonzalez isn't known to the wider boxing public he's a fighter who has been mixing on the fringes of world level for a while though often coming up short against the likes of Daniel Estrada, Humberto Mauro Gutierrez and Urbano Antillon.

Once again Gonzalez came up short, albeit in a controversial and somewhat confusing ending.

The fight started evenly with Gonzalez arguably fighting the better though Vasquez was clearly the crowd favourite fighting in front of his home fan. It was perhaps the crowds reaction to Vasquez's work that helped make the judges minds up in regards to the scoring, though it was certainly close. Vasquez was slightly the aggressor whilst Gonzalez was the more controlled man looking to fight off the defensive.

After 4 rounds it seemed like it was nip and tuck. Either guy could have been in the lead.

Sadly as the bout was beginning to really warm up an accidental clash of heads left Vasquez with a badly cut eye. Due to the accidental nature of the bout the judges score cards were called for. Of course due to the technical decision ruling the incomplete fifth round was also scored. This saw the judges coming back with scores that mostly reflected the close nature of the bout with a card of 48-48, 49.5-47.5 and 49-46.5 (yes using half point scoring!) with two of the 3 judges ruling Vasquez the winner.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bernard Hopkins v Karo Murat

American legend Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2-2, 32) once again made history as he became the oldest man in history to defend a world boxing title. Defending the IBF Light Heavyweight title for the first time since defeating Tavoris Cloud for the belt Hopkins put on a show in defeating mandatory challenger Karo Murat (25-2-1, 15).

The fight actually started well for Murat who made a good case to win the first two rounds as he out worked Hopkins. Despite Murat just starting well his success didn't last much beyond the third round as Hopkins did as Hopkins does and slowly broke Murat mentally. Unfortunately Murat's case wasn't helped by American referee Steve Smoger who appeared to be on Murat's case from the off whilst often turning a blind eye to Hopkins' infringements.

By round 4 Smoger really was making life hard for Murat. Whilst Hopkins was landing flurries on the break Smoger was giving Murat a warning for landing single shots on. Despite that the fourth round was when Hopkins started to turn it on and unload with some crisp shots most notably hard right hands. Murat was still in it, as shown by a late flurry, but his work was sporadic and he was starting to look like the older man.

The tiredness of Murat was becoming even more obvious in round 5 as he backed off from Hopkins and almost invited Hopkins to unload on him, something the American was happy to do. By now the fight was Hopkins.

Despite Smoger really getting in to the face of Murat we saw some leniency in round 6 as Murat twice punched Hopkins when he was down. Although a point deduction would have made sense Smoger didn't take anything and instead seemed to suggest that next time Murat broke the rules he would be deducted. A final hard warning if you will. The shots were seemingly thrown out of frustration by Murat who by now seemed annoyed at both Smoger and Hopkins.

Hopkins made Murat pay for his sins the following round as he rocked the challenger several times. It seemed like Hopkins was seriously going for the stoppage, something he's not scored in years. Despite that the round was best remembered for Murat finally being deducted a point for tapping Hopkins on the break. It was the round of the fight by far and actually saw the fight becoming somewhat entertaining as the two men brawled.

The brawling that ended the sixth round returned in round 7 as Hopkins again went on the offensive with the intention of stopping Murat. By now it was obvious Hopkins had no respect for Murat and he almost bundled him out of the ring before turning away and walking with his back to the challenger, leading to Smoger telling him to turn around. This odd moment saw Murat launching an an attack on Hopkins as the American tried to talk to the fans in what was on of the most peculiar rounds of Bernard Hopkins' long career.

From then on it was rare to see Murat landing much clean. He often tried, as he did at the start of round 8 but Hopkins was too defensively cute for him. This lead to Murat becoming more frustrated and giving Hopkins chance to unload when and as he wanted. Whether it was jabs, right hands or flurries it was all Hopkins or messy holding as the American's lead on the cards grew through rounds 8,9, 10 and 11.

At the end of the eleventh round Hopkins joked that he'd need a knock out to win. Surprisingly he seemed to get close to it at one as Murat turned away and Hopkins unloaded. Later in the round Murat appeared to be wobbled then surprisingly Murat flirted with a disqualification hitting Hopkins on the break again. Amazingly whilst Smoger didn't disqualify Murat, when he could have done despite their only being seconds left, he did physically push Murat by the face. A rather fitting end to a poor performance by Smoger.

Although the bout had started in a close manner it had finished with Hopkins as a clear winner, successfully defending his title with a wide margin on the score cards.

Peter Quillin v Gabriel Rosado

In the first of two world titles fights in the US Peter Quillin (30-0, 22) the WBO Middleweight champion, successfully retained his title via a TKO over the always game Gabriel Rosado (21-7-0-1, 13).

The opening round was somewhat cautious with both men looking to see what the other had. Although it was mostly quiet there was several punches from both men that caught the eye, most notably two stinging left hooks from Quillin one of which seemed to see Rosado's legs buckle.

For those expecting a firefight to break out early the second round was much like the first. Both guys remained patient, looking for a bomb with out leaving an opening for his opponent. The first real bombs landed came from Quillin with one about 2 minutes into the round sending Rosado down for the fights first knockdown.

Unfortunately the firefight didn't set off in round 3 either. The pace did pick up somewhat but neither man really landed too much clean as they each seemed to anticipate the other man's next move. Saying that however Quillin did land a monster counter late in the round that arguably stole him the round. The same patience was shown through much of round 4 though Quillin did land a nice flashy combo late on before Rosado fought back and rocked Quillin in the final seconds.

The late burst in round 4 from Rosado seemed to see him coming out for round 5 with some new found confidence. Strangely this confidence from Rosado seemed to spur him into show boating rather than trying to build on his success. The challenger did come forward though at times seemed too patient with his hands and when he did throw he seemed too predictable allowing Quillin to avoid many of his shots. By the end of the round it appeared that Quillin was back in to things taking advantage of the fact that Rosado was giving him opportunities rather than really taking it to Quillin.

Round 6 again saw Rosado on the front foot though his actual punch out put was still low. It seemed to be more than Quillin's but it was Quillin that was landing the more notable punches, often thrown as counters. Quillin continued to fight as a counter puncher through round 7 landing a notable counter early in the round as Rosado continued to press the action by following the champion. It was with Rosado following Quillin that the champion managed to land several hard uppercuts that really caught the eye. Although the round ended with Rosado cornering Quillin it looked like the champion was trying to lure the challenger on to another big shot.

By round 8 the fight had taken on a relatively repetitive pattern. Rosado would march forward, Quillin would try to counter and they'd end up throwing very little between them. Rosado did manage to have a bit more success but the fight had taken on the identity of something rather mundane. It seemed that although both men are dangerous fighters with solid power they at times didn't seem able to hurt the other. The action, what little their was, came in short bursts and their was never anything sustained. Despite the lack of hard action Rosado was cut badly over the left eye in round 9.

With Rosado's eye a bloody mess he left a giant bulls eye for Quillin to attack, something he did very early in the tenth round bursting it wider. This saw the referee calling in the doctor who, despite Rosado's appeals, called the fight off awarding Quillin a TKO in a very anti-climatic ending to a very disappointing contest.

On the back of this, it's fair to say that the demand for Quillin/Golovkin has actually gone down. Quillin failed to impress and looked very much like a B rate champion here.

John Riel Casimero v Felipe Salguero

In the first world title fight of the weekend Filipino John Riel Casimero (19-2, 11) successfully retained his IBF Light Flyweight title courtesy of a stunning 11th round TKO over tough Mexican Felipe Salguero (18-5-1, 13). This, the third defense for Casimero was arguably the most impressive though it was a performance that perhaps he had to have to remind the Filipino fans who he was.

The fight started slowly with both men feeling their way in to it in the opening rounds. There was little to separate them through the first 3 rounds with Salguero stalking the champion who was himself doing just enough to neutralise the Mexican's pressure with intelligent boxing.

After the slow start Casimero started to come alive in round 4 as he put his foot on the gas for the first time and in round 5 things were in full swing for the Filipino who was starting to find his timing and range with left hooks and right straights. Although having a lot of notable success Casimero was unable to drop Salguero, who twice slipped to the canvas.

Casimero's success continued in round 6 as he bloodied the eye of his game challenger who was starting to fall well behind on the score cards. It appeared as if Casimero was on the verge of running away with things though Salguero then started to rally back in to the fight and seemed to have real success in round 7.

Salguero's success in round 7 looked like he was going to have a memorable come back. Unfortunately for the Mexican his successes were short lived with Casimero sending his challenger to the canvas for the first time in round 8 courtesy of a clean left hand. The knockdown may not have kept Salguero down but proved that Casimero had the power to hurt him. This was again on show in round 9 as Salguero went down for a second time.

By the start of round 10 Salguero was in a real hole on the cards and was going to need something major to turn things around. The best he could do however was stay on his feet for the full round refusing to fall too much further behind as he continued to be made to look like a second grade challenger.

With a clear lead on the score cards Casimero seemed to have the bout in the bag. Despite this he wanted to put on a show for the crowd and went for it in round 11 dropping Salguero again following a vicious combination. This time the referee had decided enough was enough and stopped the bout.

Following the contest Casimero hinted at a a possible move to Flyweight, arguable the toughest division in the sport. Whilst he may be struggling to make Light Flyweight I'd not expect him to fair too well at at 112lbs against naturally bigger, stronger men. Saying that however there are numerous big fighters in the East if Salguero does make that move and contests against Kazuto Ioka, Akira Yaegashi or even Toshiyuki Igarashi would all make sense, as would a fight with Roman Gonzalez who has himself moved up this past week or so.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Mike Alvarado v Ruslan Provodnikov

It's not every fight that has fans really looking forward to it with anticipation of a sure-fire war but this weekend's WBO Light Welterweight title fight between Mike Alvarado (34-2, 23) and Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16) was one such fight. It was two men who had styles made for each other, two men who had power and heart and two men who knew how to entertain fans.

Whilst many such fights can fall short of their mark I think it's fair to say that this lived to expectation and it seemed clear from the off that this wasn't going to just fall short.

The action kicked off in the way we expected. Provodnikov came forward, living up to the idea that he hasn't got a reverse gear and Alvarado showed off his superior boxing fighting Provodnikov off whilst fighting off the back foot. Alvarado certainly looked the better "boxer" but Provodnikov was having success and seemed to take the round with his harder clearer shots.

The fact Alvarado had lost the opening round saw him going to plan B. Boxing and moving. When Alvarado was fighting on the move he made Provodnikov look rather limited and in fact the movement looked like it was confusing the Russian who clearly lost rounds 2 and 3. Oddly it was whilst Alvarado was boxing on the move that a strange feeling seemed to come over the bout, "this might actually go the distance".

Alvarado's clear successes came to an end in round 4 as he began to get a little over-confident and almost seemed to fight Provodnikov's bout. This was a silly mistake though one that he likely thought could help break Provodnikov's confidence. If he could beat Provodnikov on the inside then where was Provodnikov going to go? Unfortunately, as mentioned, it backfired.

Alvarado returned to his moving tactics in round 5 as he tried to reestablish control of the bout, though unfortunately his output had dropped and the first 2 minutes or so were about Provodnikov who actually threw punches. Alvarado tried to steal in the final minute but it was too little too late as Provodnikov seemed to take a narrow lead. Thankfully for Alvarado his reestablished himself in round 6, which like round 5 had been close though he seemed to have just done enough to claim it as we moved in to the second half of the fight with a level, or near level score card.

The close nature of rounds 5 and 6 was again felt in round 7, a round that for 2 minutes 58 seconds was an even round. Unfortunately for the defending champion he lost the round in those final 2 seconds as he was shaken up, hard.

It wasn't so much that Alvarado had lost round 7 in the final 2 seconds that had proven to be a key, but that Provodnikov had hurt genuinely hurt him. It was less about the "10-9" on a piece of paper but more about the huge confidence boost Provodniov had had from the action at the bell, confidence that seemed to really boost him in round 8.

The eighth round by far the most crucial to the fight. Provodnikov grew from the previous round and hurt  Alvarado early in the round. Provodnikov landed a shot upstairs that hurt Alvarado then a body shot that seemed to really shake Alvarado up. A follow up attack sent Alvarado down for a 9 count and from then on it was Alvarado never looked the same man. He was dropped again later in the round then did all he could to survive through the final minute of the round.

By round 9 it looked like we were only going to have a new champion. Unfortunately Provodnikov was starting to look tired and he could capitalise on Alvarado who was still looking very leggy. Alvarado managed to avoid a fight, despite his legs looking tired, through out round 9 though he did lose the round by doing very little in terms of offensive work.

It was starting to look like Provodnikov had missed his chance to stop Alvarado though a huge assault at the end of round 10 forced the defending champions corner to act. They knew their man was spent, they knew he had struggled with weight and they knew that he needed saving before his career was thrown away chasing a lost cause. They refused, rightfully, to let their man out for round 11 conceding the title though saving what was left of their man.

Robert Stieglitz v Isaac Ekpo

In the first of two world title fights this weekend the WBO Super Middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (46-3, 26) successfully defended his title thanks to clear decision over Nigerian Isaac Ekpo (22-2, 16) in a scrappy and less than exciting contest.

The opening round was close, it wasn't great but it was competitive as both men seemed to try and feel out what the other had. Neither man really committed themselves to an attack and as a result neither man really found out much about the other as cautious respect seemed to overshadow the round.

Unfortunately the fact the opening round had "failed" as a scouting expedition saw the same cautious attitude applied in the second round by both men. It seemed as if Stieglitz didn't want to find out if Ekpo's power was for real and it seemed that Ekpo, who looked good defensively, didn't want to let Stieglitz know about his power too soon. Unfortunately this played off as a second uninteresting round.

Thankfully it appeared that Stieglitz had began to figure Ekpo out and moved up a gear in round 3, landing the first notable combination of the fight. The class different seemed obvious as soon as Stieglitz let his hands go and this showed over the next few rounds as he began to rack up clear rounds thanks to a single flurry or two of eye catching action.

From round 3 onwards Stieglitz just grew and grew in to the fight. Ekpo, who had entered with an aura of being a hard hitting livewire was beginning to be outclassed, out boxed, out worked and generally made to look like a second rate challenger. A typical WBO challenger if you will. Whilst Ekpo was looking like a typical second rate challenger Stieglitz was beginning to look like a second rate champion and as a result was starting to have a field day with Ekpo who was being broken down physically and forced into a shell mentally.

By the end of round 9 it was becoming a route as Stieglitz moved up the gears and starting to really let his hands go, seemingly staggering Ekpo late in the round. From then on it was game over, Ekpo lacked the power to trouble the German, lacked the skills to compete and lacked any trait at all that could push Stieglitz into looking for a plan B. It was just a matter of what did Stieglitz want, was he happy with a wide decision or would he push for a late stoppage?

The answer didn't really matter, Ekpo, for his faults, did seem to be tough and seemed like he'd find a way to see out the final bell one way or another. That's exactly what he managed thanks to some very scrappy work, especially in a final round marred by holding and and lack of clean action as the fight fizzled to a clear decision in a bout that won't be on any end of year lists I'm afraid.

It's fair to say that despite scores of 118-110-twice, and 119-111 people won't be in a rush to see Stieglitz again on the back of this contest. it was poor and certainly nothing worth re-watching.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Juan Carlos Reveco v Ricardo Nunez

Whilst much of the boxing world had their attention on the US with Orlando Salido fought Orlando Cruz, Timothy Bradley fought Juan Manuel Marquez and Vasyl Lomachenko made his professional debut there was also action, at the world level, in Argentina.

Fighting in his home area of Mendoza the WBA Flyweight champion Juan Carlos Reveco (32-1, 17) successfully retained his title defeating Panamanian puncher Ricardo Nunez (26-4, 22), a fighter who always has the power to hurt fighters, even if his boxing skills aren't the most impressive.

The difference in boxing skill was evident from the off with Revecco utilising his speed and skills to hit Nunez with out taking much in return. It seemed almost evident from the off that this was actually a mismatch. Sure, Nunez seemed to have the power to turn things around but he was really struggling to connect with that power as Reveco impressed from the opening bell.

Unfortunately in the 8th round, and whilst well a head on the scorecards, Reveco came off worse from a clash of heads and unfortunately, with his right leaking blood, he was denied the chance to go for a late stoppage with the referee calling for the cards.

Although Reveco was denied his opportunity of going for a stoppage he was able to take a clear, clear decision with scores of 80-71 across all 3 cards to retain his title.

Unfortunately the cut was nasty and Reveco may not be able to fight again this year, effectively ruling out a possible super-fight in Japan with either Roman Gonzalez or Kazuto Ioka, both of whom have shown an interest in a fight with the Argentinian.

Timothy Bradley v Juan Manuel Marquez

It's unfortunate when the biggest fight of the weekend turns out to be a bit of a dud but that's what we saw this weekend as Timothy Bradley (31-0-0-1, 12) retained his WBO Welterweight title with a split decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 4) in a less than exciting contest.

It was obvious from the opening bell that the two men had genuine respect for each other and this showed in a very nip and took opening round that saw neither man really landing too much of note. If anything Bradley may have stolen the round with his jab but it going the other way wouldn't have been a surprise.

After the slow opening round Bradley seemed to move in to second gear and used his speed to get in and out, landing single shots whilst preventing Marquez from landing a counter. It was in this round that Marquez actually looked 40 years old, though in the following round Marquez did have his successes in a very quiet and very slow round, a round that was fought to Marquez's pace.

Bradley found his feet again in the following round and took rounds 4 and 5 by using his speed and movement to take advantage of Marquez's age and lack of reactions. It wasn't until round 6 that Marquez seemed to begin having any success as he landed several right hands whilst Bradley seemed to take parts of the round off. Bradley's cruise control again seemed to be in action in round, a round in which Bradley was elusive but relatively inactive as Marquez appeared to show a spirited fightback.

Marquez's fight back was ended in round 8 as Bradley switched back on to his boxing and tried to silence a "Marquez" chant that came from the crowd. This was one of the best Bradley rounds and showed that he had an extra gear when he wanted to find it, it was just a shame that he didn't show the same mentality in the previous rounds. Unfortunately Bradley again seemed to turn off in round 9 as Marquez stole the round with a late flurry as he again took the advantage of another round off from Bradley.

It was funny that Bradley seemed to look class when he decided to step up but kept taking rounds off. Amazingly after his dominance in round 8 and then lack of activity in round 9 he managed to actually shake up Marquez in round 10. It looked as if Bradley could actually take Marquez if he decided to keep up an assault though instead seemed to just be happy to shake the Mexican.

With a big tenth round it seemed almost certain that Bradley would turn up for the championship rounds. Instead he was negative and again acted like he was on cruise control giving away round 11 with out any sort of real fight and then giving away the first 2 minutes 45 seconds of the final round before almost sending Marquez to the canvas in the final 10 seconds. Again it seemed like Bradley could have dropped Marquez had he pushed for the knockdown but instead he stepped off and waited for the bell.

Having given away several rounds the bout was closer than it should have been and the judges scorecards showed it with scorecards of 115-113 either way whilst the deciding card favoured Bradley by a score of 116-112.

Bradley should have won by a wide margin though gave Marquez so many rounds than a close decision was his own fault.

Orlando Salido v Orlando Cruz

In the first of two world title fights in the US this weekend Mexican Orlando Salido (40-12-2-1, 28) defeated his namesake Orlando Cruz (20-3-1, 10) and claimed the WBO Featherweight title as we added yet another chapter to the excellent Mexico/Puerto Rico rivalry.

Unfortunately this wasn't one of those legendary Mexico/Puerto Rican contests however as it seemed one sided from the off with Cruz fighting like, and looking like a beaten man before the opening bell. In fact Cruz almost seemed to refuse to look at Salido as the referee gave his final instructions.

The opening round further saw Cruz looking scared. He tried to jab and move though looked apprehensive from the off, almost as if he was terrified of being hit by Salido whilst Salido himself seemed to be trying to figure out what he had in front of him.Although the first round was quiet from both men it was certainly a round that Salido won by virtue of doing something as opposed to nothing.

After taking the opening round Salido went on a roll taking rounds 2,3 and 4 as he moved up through the gears letting shots go up close and walking through the weak looking attack of Cruz who appeared almost scared of putting his weight behind a shot. The fact Cruz didn't have the fire power to keep Salido honest saw the Mexican coming in and unloading to the body and head at will, with the body a very clear target early on.

By the end of round 4 the body work of Salido seemed to be paying dividends as Cruz began to hold his feet. It appeared as if the end was nigh though Cruz then had his best round in round 5 as he moved well and clearly won the round making Salido look clumsy. It was odd that Cruz, who had started to slow in round 4 would have his best round in the fifth though it was a sign of the Puerto Rican's heart.

Unfortunately for Cruz it was fair to say that the fourth round was his successful one as Salido turned it on in round 6 with a very intelligent and accurate attack. The ineffectiveness of round 5 was well forgotten as Salido walked him down and landed some lovely combinations as he destroyed what was left of Cruz's confidence

Although Cruz was still standing at the end of the sixth he was starting to get beaten up and whilst he was showing fantastic heart his body was starting to break down. The destruction of Cruz's body was complete in the seventh with a devastating body that left him down in agony forcing the referee to wave it off.

With Vasyl Lomachenko getting past Jose Ramirez on the undercard it would appear likely that Salido will be defending against the Ukrainian superstar. For Cruz however this almost certainly ends his dream of ever being a world champion

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Scott Quigg v Yoandris Salinas

In a less than satisfactory ending Scott Quigg (26-0-2, 19) retained his newly upgraded WBA Super Bantamweight title courtesy of a 12 round majority draw with under-rated Cuban Yoandris Salinas (20-0-2, 13).

Oddly rather than complaining about the draw, I want to be one of the few to compliment good scoring. All too often we complain about bad scoring, as Sky Sport's did on TV, though on this rare occasion the scoring was sport on.

The first began at a very slow pace with Salinas landing his jab at will and making Quigg seem like a novice. It was an almost expected start with both men feeling each other out but few would have expected it to remain so slow so long and in fact it took several for either man to really come alive.

For the Cuban a slow pace was ideal and it helped win a majority of the early rounds with Quigg almost fighting the wrong fight. It was odd that a fighter like Quigg, known for his strength and energy, started so slowly and by the mid-way point it appeared his slow pace was going to cost him his title as he was genuinely in a hole. In fact by round 7 it was easy to make a case for Salinas being 6 rounds to 1 up, effectively securing at the very least a draw, barring a knockdown, or of course a knock out.

Knowing he was well behind on the scorecards Quigg began to go through the gears and in round 8 he finally managed to generate some momentum stepping up his work notably and easily taking the round as he put Salinas under serious pressure. The success from this round saw Quigg building some real momentum and clearly took rounds 9, 10, 11 with a similar strategy of putting his foot on the gas and applying pressure with plenty of work.

By the start of the 12th it was easy to say Quigg was winning, based merely on the way the momentum was going, something I think Sky Sports did in effect, though on my card he was going to need a big final round to take home the decision. Salinas seemed to have the same sort of idea in his head, though perhaps felt he was in the lead. This lead to a very weird 12th round with Salinas back on his toes moving around the ring and flicking out his jab whilst Quigg applied pressure. It was the first time Salinas had used his feet since about round 7 though his lack of work rate meant Quigg took the round anyway.

With the fact I had given Salinas 6 of the first 7 and Quigg had taken the final 5 a draw seemed the most obvious result and, thankfully, two of the judges agreed, with the third viewing Quigg as a 115-113 winner giving us a majority draw. And for once, the right decision.

Wladimir Klitschko v Alexander Povetkin

Heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51) once again showed why he is the boss of the division as he soundly defeated Russian challenger Alexander Povetkin (26-1, 18). Taking the Russian's unbeaten record in the process.

The fight started well for Povetkin who appeared to be showing the confidence of an unbeaten man looking to land big shots from the off on the jaw of the supposedly vulnerable Klitschko. The tactic seemed to work well with a claim that Povetkin could have taken the round on aggression even if it wasn't the most effective.

Unfortunately for Povetkin the good work of the opening round was undone quickly in the second as he was dropped for the first time in the fight. The knockdown, which seemed to be a delayed reaction to a sharp left hook from Klitschko was a flash one but still showed Klitschko's ability to hurt Povetkin.

Following the second round Klitschko began to really grow in to the fight and controlled the fight at range whilst holding, and leaning on Povetkin time and time again in the following round. Klitschko had, like he has through out his career, shut down Povetkin after just a few rounds. Povetkin still looked confident but was slowly being beaten mentally and physically. He was being out boxed and worn out by Klitschko's tactics.

By round 6 it appeared as if we were heading to a very simple and very boring looking unanimous decision. The holding had become the main part of the fight and Povetkin had been totally neutralised in a way that was far from friendly for the fans. Thankfully round 7 saw a serious change in Klitschko's mindset with the Ukrainian sending the Russian to the canvas 3 times. Unfortunately, perhaps, the knockdowns weren't the cleanest though referee Luis Pabon seemed happy to give Klitschko the benefit of the doubt on all 3 in what was therefore a 10-6 round.

After knockdowns in round 7 it appeared almost certain that Klitschko was going to to stop Povetkin, instead however he took his foot off the gas in rounds 8 and 9, rounds that again saw Povetkin have some success between the holding and stop-start action.

Thankfully Klitschko did move up a gear at the start of round 10 banging off some lovely free flowing jabs to keep Povetkin on the outside. This was stepped up again in round 11 as Povetkin was rocked hard and seemed set to go. Unfortunately rather than actually scoring a knockdown with punches Klitschko again pushed Povetkin down and was this time deducted a point in what was an somewhat meaningless deduction.

With a DQ perhaps in Klitschko's mind he did little of note in round 12, a round that Povetkin may have claimed with nicer judges due to Klitschko's total lack of aggression. Despite the negativity of Klitschko through the round none of the judges saw it fit to give it to Povetkin however as the final scores all read 119-104. Effectively the only point Klischko failed to take was the one he was deducted.