On an emotional night (Sat Nov 10) inside the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany, Wladimir Klitschko easily vanquished the challenge of Polish giant Mariusz Wach and retained his IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA super world heavyweight titles with a lopsided 12 round points victory in his first fight since the passing of his legendary hall of fame trainer Emanuel Steward.
Klitschko (17st 9lbs), unbeaten since 2004, got down to business immediately in the opening round as he tested the chin of Wach (17st 11lbs) with a meaty right hand inside 30 seconds. Wach, who had beaten nobody of note to earn his chance at the heavyweight ruler, did at least show a solid set of whiskers as the fight progressed and a straight right hand of his own that landed on the chin of the champion in the fifth momentarily threatened to cause a huge upset before normal service was resumed.
Wach, 32, plodded forward with little idea other than to launch the occasional wild right but Wladimir is nobody’s fool these days, and years of working on footwork with Steward enabled the champion to skip out of range before another jab found its way through the gaping holes in the 6’7” Wach’s defence.
“He has hit you with everything and your still here” said the Wach corner as the bell sounded to start round seven, in a vain attempt at encouragement.
Wladimir continued to do the hitting as Wach waited too long to get his punches off in another session dominated by the ram rod left of the champion. The crowd chanted “Klitschko! Klitschko!” as a big right landed on Wach as the bell sounded to rescue a tiring challenger.
“Don’t stop using your jab” insisted Jonathan Banks in the Klitschko corner.
A thumping right from Wlad forced Wach to retreat to the ropes as he tried a right of his own that sailed over the head of “Dr Steel Hammer” in round eight. Wach suffered a beating at the hands of the champion in a one sided session as the long reigning heavyweight king simply out classed his game but limited opponent. Klitschko upped the pace as he sensed a stoppage was on the cards but to his credit Wach toughed it out and survived the round after Wladimir had momentarily punched himself out.
Klitschko took his foot off the gas in round nine and Wach began to back him up although he found hitting the champion cleanly a problem he had no answer for.
“Use your legs now” said Banks who couldn’t have wished for a more trouble free fight in the champion’s corner.
Another quiet session followed in the tenth before Wladimir launched a two fisted attack to begin the penultimate round. A big right from the champion landed Wach on the middle strand before getting behind his jab once again to control the round.
Wladimir picked up a small nick on his right eye in the final round but the expected onslaught from the challenger failed to materialise as he looked weary and just glad to last the distance.
Judges Adelaide Byrd and Michael Ancona gave every round to the champion with scorecards that read 120-107 and Pasquale Procopio marked 119-109. Eddie Cotton officiated.
Wach loses his unbeaten record and drops to 27-1 (15) whilst the champion continues his domination of the division and improves to 62-3 (51)
Bolton’s unbeaten welterweight prospect Rick Godding (18-0-1) scored a majority draw over 10 rounds against tough former Kell Brook opponent Rafal Jackiewicz (42-10-1) on the undercard. Judges Frank Michael Maass and Holger Wiemann were in agreement, seeing the bout 95-95 with Timo Habighorst scoring 96-94 for Godding.
Rakim Chakhkiev 16-0 (12) scored a wide unanimous decision over WBA number 15 ranked cruiserweight American Andreas Taylor 21-3-1 (8)
Middleweight talent Tony Harrison scored a workman like 60-54 unanimous decison over six rounds against rugged Pole Daniel Urbanski (21-12-3). Harrison was the last student of Manny Steward and moves to 11-0 (8).