Klitschko knocks out challenger Pulev

World heavyweight champion retains his IBF title by knocking out the challenger and ending his unbeaten record.

Klitschko (R) also holds the WBO, IBO and WBA titles [EPA]
Klitschko (R) also holds the WBO, IBO and WBA titles [EPA]

World heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko knocked out Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev with a fierce left hook in the fifth round to retain his IBF title and end his opponent’s unbeaten record.

The 38-year-old Klitschko, who also holds the WBO, IBO and WBA titles, knocked down the 33-year-old twice in the opening round as Pulev initially struggled to keep his taller opponent at a distance.

The Bulgarian, who had won his previous 20 fights, was again floored in the third round when he was sent sprawling by a thundering left hook.

He looked to be finding his way back into the fight, landing a big right that rattled the Ukrainian but another giant left hook finished the job in round five with a dazed Pulev staying down for the count.

“I made my professional debut here 18 years ago and I love this city,” a beaming Klitschko, who has his base in the northern German city, said in a ringside interview.

“It was difficult to get that hook in. I kept trying but he managed to stay away. I tried it a few times and at the end it worked.”

Klitschko has now improved his record to 63 wins out of his 66 fights with 54 knockouts. Pulev is 20-1.

“I feel good,” Pulev said, nursing an ice pack on his quickly swelling right cheek. “I am satisfied with my performance Vladimir is a good opponent but I think he had a bit of luck. Now I want revenge and it will be different result,” said the Bulgarian.

Source : Reuters

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