Klitschko retains WBC heavyweight crown
Published Date: March 23, 2009
Vitaly Klitschko retained his WBC heavyweight crown by defeating Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez on a technical knockout in the ninth round on Saturday. Klitschko, who retired in 2005 after a series of injuries before reclaiming the WBC title in October by beating Samuel Peter, had to work hard to beat the bloodied Gomez.
I knew Gomez very well and knew this was not going to be easy," said Klitschko in a post-match public address. "After the sixth I became bit impatient but I knew he did not have much fuel after that." The 37-year-old Ukrainian, 10cm taller than his opponent, who is 35, began cautiously in the first few rounds but gradually went on the attack to the delight of some 12,500 spectators in Stuttgart's sold-out Schleyer Hall.
Klitschko (36-2), chipped away at Gomez's defenses with several punishing blows to the body and head that left the Cuban with a cut above his right eye in the fourth round. As his eye closed, Gomez began having problems blocking Klitschko's powerful right, and a left-right combination in the sixth further rattled the Cuban. Gomez (44-1) went down on his knees in the seventh after Klitschko, who went into the fight with a record of 35 knockouts, landed a big right. The Cuban then took a barrage of punches b
ut somehow managed to stay on his feet.
Gomez lasted two more rounds before Klitschko sent him to the ropes with a series of left jabs and the referee stopped the fight with one minute and 49 seconds left in the round. "Now I want the one title that evades the Klitschko family," said Vitaly, referring to the WBA heavyweight title held by Russian Nikolai Valuev. Vitaly's brother Vladimir holds the WBO and IBF crowns. However, the WBC has ordered Vitaly to make another mandatory title defense within four months, a decision Klitschko has appealed t
o the Court of Arbitration for Sport. - Reuters
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