Vladimir Klitschko beat Lamon Brewster with a technical knockout after six rounds to successfully defend his IBF and IBO heavyweight titles on Saturday and make up for one of the most painful losses of his career.
"I have waited for this fight for three years," Klitschko said. "This was incredibly important for me. Today I could not lose. My confidence was such I simply could not lose."
The Ukrainian clearly dominated the first five rounds, making repeated contact with his strong left jab that largely went unanswered.
Brewster seemed to be standing up to the constant punishment, but two massive left-right combinations in the sixth round rocked the American. Before the seventh could start, Brewster's trainer, Buddy McGirt, flapped his towel and referee Sam Williams called the fight.
"He was the better man tonight. I did my best. I felt prepared but he won fair and square," Brewster said.
Seeing Klitschko gaining momentum and his own fighter rooted to the spot, McGirt told Brewster after the fifth round he was thinking of retiring him. But he gave Brewster one last chance to turn the bout around.
"You could see Vladimir was picking it up. I knew he'd set him up for the kill," McGirt said. "I gave him one more round but I told him I didn't want to see him get hurt. Wladimir was getting more confident so why take a chance with his life?"
Brewster would have continued, but placed his faith in his coach's decision.
"Naturally, I wanted to continue," he said. "I'm a dog. I'll fight until the end. I knew I was having trouble. I was being jabbed and he was outmaneuvering me.
"Buddy said 'You've got a wife and kids, we can always pick this up another day.' So I said OK."
Both trainers said afterward that Klitschko would have knocked him out in the seventh round, the AP reports.
Klitschko fought most of his title bout against Lamon Brewster with a broken left hand, his trainer said.
Klitschko suffered a fracture below the middle knuckle of his left hand during the first round, according to his assistant trainer Jamen Ali Bashir.
Klitschko iced his hand immediately after the bout, and is now wearing a cast from his left hand up past his elbow. "It will take eight weeks to heal," Bashir said.
Despite the injury, the Ukrainian dominated the first five rounds, and landed several strong left jabs that largely went unanswered. In the sixth round, two massive left-right combinations rocked the American, and Brewster's trainer Buddy McGirt stopped the fight before the seventh round could start.
The win avenged one of Klitschko's most painful losses in 2004, when Brewster stopped Klitschko in the fifth round to win the vacant WBO belt in Las Vegas, scotsman.com reports.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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