Klitschko smashes Williams in eight one-sided rounds
By Anthony Cocks, DHB Site Editor (December 13, 2004)
Vitali Klitschko dismissed any doubts that he is the premier heavyweight on the planet with an eight round beatdown of brave Brit Danny Williams to retain his WBC title at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday night.
Photo © Mr. Will HoganPhotos.com
Klitschko put on a dominant display of power-punching, dropping the game Williams in rounds one, three, seven and eight. To his credit Williams got up every time, but with his right eye almost swollen shut and his legs gone from under him, referee Jay Nady saved him from any further punishment at 1:26 of the eighth round after the fourth and final knockdown.
After the fight Klitschko admitted he was surprised by William's ability to take his punch. "I was surprised by his iron chin," he said. "I feel pain in my hand."
Klitschko, 35-2 (34), controlled the action from round one with his punishing jab and jackhammer right hand. Williams, best known for vanquishing the ghost of Mike Tyson back in July, came out fast at the opening bell and managed to back up Klitschko for thirty seconds, but the towering Ukrainian quickly established his range and took control of the fight.
In the final minute of the first round Klitschko wobbled Williams and the follow up barrage sent him reeling to the canvas in a manner eerily reminiscent of Trevor Berbick at the hands of Mike Tyson. Somehow Williams managed to not only find his feet, but to survive the final 30 seconds of the round, even firing off a few desperate haymakers of his own.
Williams, 32-4 (27), came out on unsteady legs to start the second, lunging ineffectively to try and clinch every time Klitschko got close enough to land a punch. Midway through the round Klitschko hurt him again, but Williams managed to survive the round on guts and instinct alone. With Williams' left eye cut and starting to swell it was obvious even at this early stage who the bigger puncher was.
Determined to shift the momentum back in his favour, Williams came out fast to start the third, but Klitschko merely swatted off Williams' punches and countered over the top. It didn't take long before Williams reverted to standing flatfooted and covering up. After receiving a warning from Nady for a low blow, Williams walked into a Klitschko hooker-cut that he pulled from his waist. Another eight count was applied to close out the round.
Surprisingly Williams had his best round in the fourth, throwing almost as many punches as he had in the previous three rounds combined, but Klitschko's remarkable accuracy from the outside saw him control the round while the swelling around Williams' right eye is continued to get worse.
Klitschko continued to apply the pressure in the fifth and sixth, wobbling Williams on a number of occasions in both rounds. Williams kept trying to land a bomb to turn it all around, but he was unsuccessful in closing the distance to land the knockout punch.
In the seventh Klitschko landed a right hand followed by a push that sent a tired and off-balance Williams spinning to the canvas. Williams got up on unsteady legs again and it was clearly just a matter of time before Klitschko stopped him.
The eighth round belonged to Klitschko, who landed a big uppercut on Williams followed up by a jab-cross that sent Williams crashing to the canvas. Again Williams rose to his feet at the count of eight, but Nady wisely stopped the carnage at 1:26 of the round.
In the post fight interview Williams surprisingly claimed that Klitschko didn't hit as hard as he had expected. "He didn't hit as hard as I thought he'd hit, but he was just too consistent with his punches," he admitted.
In the main support bout Miguel Cotto made a successful first defence of his WBO junior welterweight title by stopping heavy-handed veteran Randall Bailey in the sixth round on cuts.
After landing a couple of his vaunted right hands in the first round, Bailey had little luck after there. Cotto used lateral movement and slick footwork to work his way inside and get off with three and four punch combinations that Bailey simply had no answer for.
By the second round Cotto was hurting Bailey to the body and smothering the former champion's right hand by staying on his chest. With forty seconds left in the round Cotto caught Bailey with a cracking left hand that dropped him heavily.
Cotto, 22-0 (18), took a measured approach in the third, carefully picking his shots. A combination of hard punches caused a delayed reaction in Bailey who hit the canvas with forty seconds to go. Dr Margaret Goodman examined his left eye, which had sustained a cut below, before allowing Bailey to continue.
Cotto stalked Bailey in the four and fifth rounds, try to force exchanges. In the sixth Cotto begin to really tee off on Bailey with hooks and uppercuts to the body and head. With Bailey in trouble, Dr Goodman took another look at his eyes which by now were both cut. The fight was called of at 1:39 of the sixth. Bailey drops to 28-5 (27).
In a battle of southpaws Carlos Navarro overcame Agapito Sanchez, stopping him in the eleventh round after putting a beating on the former WBO super bantamweight champion in the second half of the fight.
Sanchez fought in spots during the early rounds, trying to catch his less experienced foe unawares. Navarro patiently stalked the wily veteran, picking his shots well and enjoying particular success with the right hook.
By the fifth round it was clear that Navarro's handspeed and heavier punches were shaking up Sanchez. Late in the round Navarro suffered a cut from a headclash, while Sanchez was cut in the sixth.
In the seventh Navarro hurt Sanchez on the ropes. Sanchez looked worn out while Navarro still appeared fresh. Navarro was still landing crisp, hard punches in the eighth while Sanchez was only looking to survive. A left cross from Navarro staggered Sanchez and a follow up salvo forced referee Richard Steele to call a halt to the fight at 1:57 of round 11.
With the win Navarro moves to 26-3-1 (21) and captures the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Featherweight title, while Sanchez falls to 35-10-2 (18).
In the opening bout of the telecast former IBF super featherweight champion Carlos 'El Famoso' Hernandez earned a ten round split decision nod over fringe contender Juan Carlos 'Ranchero' Ramirez by scores of 96-93, 95-94 and 94-96.
The fight was closely contested throughout, with Ramirez boxing effectively from the outside while Hernandez tried to find his way inside to land his heavy punches.
Hernandez, 41-4-1 (21), suffered a nasty cut above his right eye in the second round that continued to bleed for the duration of the fight.
Ramirez, 34-7 (14), won most of the middle rounds before a short counter hook in the eighth from Hernandez spun his head around and sent him face first to the canvas.
Hernandez finish stronger to eke out a close decision victory in a fight that could've gone either way.
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