Saturday, March 10, 2007

Klitschko annihilates Austin!

By Karl Freitag

Wladimir: It was easy...Ray Austin was much slower than my sparring partners

IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (48-3, 43 KOs) crushed mandatory challenger Ray Austin (24-4-4, 16 KOs) on Saturday night before 16,000 spectators at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany. After an uneventful first round, Klitschko connected with four huge left hooks in round two. Austin crumpled face first to the canvas and was unable to beat the count of referee Eddie Cotton. Time was 1:27 of round two. After the fight, Klitschko said the fight was even easier than he expected. "I didn't choose this opponent. This was a mandatory defense. I had to fight Ray Austin and after that I want to unify the titles. It doesn't matter who is going to be next." It was the second successful defense for Klitschko, who won the title last year by KO against Chris Byrd in this same arena.

In undercard action, unbeaten Kronk cruiserweight Johnathon Banks (15-0, 11 KOs) needed just 32 seconds to demolish journeyman Ralf Riemer (6-5-1). Former WBO cruiser challenger Alexander Petkovic (35-4-3, 17 KOs) defeated Dutch prospect Harry Duiven Jr (6-2) over six by scores of 59-56, 58-56, 60-54. Unbeaten welter Zapir Gereev (13-0, 11 KOs) demolished Omar Siala (4-6-1) in round one. In a pair of four-rounders, light heavyweight Haxhi Krasniqi (12-2) outpointed Omar Diatta (5-1) and featherweight Nico Schroeder (3-1) decisioned Ion Strejoiu (0-8).

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