Wladimir Klitschko Beats Kubrat Pulev to Remain Champ
Wladimir Klitschko knocked out Kubrat Pulev in the fifth round of their World Heavyweight Title match on Saturday at the O2 Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
Inching Closer to History Books
The win pushed Klitschko closer to two sacred boxing records in the sport’s history books. His 17th consecutive title defense puts him three defenses away from Larry Holmes’ record of 20 straight, while his second title reign of eight and a half years is nearing the legendary Joe Louis’ “unbreakable” standard of 11 years, 8 months and 8 days.
Klitschko has won 21 fights in a row and has not lost since April 10, 2004 when he was knocked out in the fifth round by American Lamont Brewster when the two fought for the vacant WBO heavyweight title. He improved his record to 63-3 with 53 knockouts.
Supposed To Be a Big Test
Kubrat Pulev was supposed to be a big test for the 37-year old Ukrainian champion. He was undefeated and had an impressive amateur background. His physical size and attributes were perfect to challenge Klitschko. But Dr. Steelhammer quickly changed that as the fight began.
He dropped Pulev with a left hook early in the first round as the challenger went out of the gates fast, hoping to land a big shot. Pulev immediately got up but he was down once again moments later from what appeared to be a shove from Klitschko. Pulev recovered in round two by keeping his distance, but Klitschko still managed to hit him with a couple of solid blows. In the third, the champion rocked Pulev with a powerful right hand that dazed him and then followed it up with a left hook that sent the challenger down for the third time in the bout. A cut had opened below Pulev’s left eye as he once again rose to his feet. But this time, it looked like the end was a matter of time.
Klitschko finished him off in the 5th round with another powerful left hook that put Pulev away for good. Referee Tony Weeks counted him out at the 2:11 mark of Round 5. Compubox numbers had Klitschko connecting on 38-89 punches (43%) while Pulev was just 25-110(23%).
Man of Steel?
The 37-year old Klitschko is in his 18th year as a pro boxer but is showing no signs of slowing down yet. The boxer nicknamed “Dr. Steel Hammer” for his vaunted fists showed remarkable recovery after suffering a torn left biceps last August which caused the postponement of this bout. What makes this win impressive is that he used the left hook to put Pulev down four times. With that much power from a recently healed injured arm, should Klitschko now change that nickname to Man of Steel? The former 1996 Olympic gold medalist is now 24-2 in world title fights and is nearing Greatest of All Time status with his unbeaten streak, which now stands at 17.
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