By Alexey Sukachev
Hamburg, Germany - In a battle of giant-sized heavyweights, Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50KOs) fought his first opponent who was actually taller, and still dominated with vicious punches to secure a twelve round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Mariusz Wach (27-1, 15KOs) to retain the WBO/IBF/IBO/IBF titles. The scores were 120-107, 120-107 and 119-109.
They both came out jabbing, but Wladimir had the better jab and was landing big rights behind them. Wladimir's jab was pushing Wach back and the big Pole had no answers. Wach shook Klitschko with a big right in the fifth, but couldn't follow up. And then Klitschko shook Wach in the sixth round.
Klitschko let his hands go in the seventh and landed monster shots, but couldn't seriously hurt the iron-chinned Wach. Wladimir was beating down Wach in the eight but again he couldn't put him down or seriously hurt the Polish giant. In the eleventh, Wladimir started beating on Wach again with both hands and trying his best to knock the challenger out. Wach survived until the bell and lasted until the end.
Middleweight talent Tony Harrison, 22, the last student of legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, scored a workmanlike unanimous decision over rugged Pole Daniel Urbanski (21-12-3, 5 KOs). Harrison (now 11-0, 8 KOs) looked better in every possible aspect of the bout and rightfully earned a clean sweep: 60-54 - from all the judges.
In a slightly controversial ten-rounder, Polish welterweight veteran Rafal Jackiewicz (42-10-2, 21 KOs) was halted to a draw by previously undefeated and unranked British fighter Rick Godding (18-0-1, 3 KOs). Scores were: 95-95 (twice) and 94-96 (for Godding).
The British fighter was a better boxer throughout the first eight rounds. Much bigger than his opponent he was boxing from the long range, keeping IBF #6-ranked Pole at bay with his hard, annoying jab. Jackiewicz had problems with getting past this offensive guard of the Brit. He missed with his wide swings and looked every bit of his 35 years, being slightly slower than his relatively unknown opponent, who is eight years younger. When the Pole did get in, he landed some hard right uppercuts, opening a cut inside Godding's nose.
Late in the fight, Jackiewicz, trailing on the judges' scorecards, caught his second win and started to tag Godding more and more effectively. Round nine was very huge for Jackiewicz, who pummeled the Brit all over the ring, landing big right bombs with considerable snap in them. The final stanza was also in the Pole's favour, and it turned to be his salvation. Rick Godding instead might be feeling considerable disappointment after showing the best boxing showcase of his life but coming up short on the scorecards due to his insufficient effort in the last two rounds. BoxingScene scored the bout 97-93 - for the British boxer.
Highly regarded Russian cruiserweight power hitter Rakhim Chakhkiev (16-0, 12 KOs) didn't impressed anyone but kept his perfect record intact with a methodical unanimous decision over WBA #15 American Andres Taylor (21-3-1, 8 KOs).
2008 Beijing heavyweight gold medalist Chakhkiev started very fast, throwing hard left bombs, his trademark and his most dangerous weapon, to the face of Taylor. The American hardly did anything to prevent his opponent's activities but rather concentrated on his primary goal - to survive until the final bell. Hard left hands by Chakhkiev wobbled him a bit in the first.
In the second, however, Taylor adjusted his style of fighting to that of the Russian. He raised his right hand very high and easily nullified Rakhim's efforts to knock him out with a power-driven left hand. Chakhkiev was cut over his right eyebrow after an accidental headbutt, also in the second stanza. Rounds were passing by, and it became clear that southpaw banger Chakhkiev relied too much on his left hook to the head and didn't let his hands go to the left side of Taylor's body.
After the midpoint of the bout, Taylor finally started to produce some offensive activities. In the sixth stanza he wasn't very successful, but late into the seventh he wobbled Chakhkiev with two consecutive left swings, winning his first round of the fight. In the eighth, Rakhim came back but also suffered a cut on the side of his left eye, after Taylor had penetrated his defense with the right thumb. The American was also deducted a point for hitting after the break command.
The end of the bout saw an increase in Chakhkiev's aggressiveness. The Russian fighter, who is ranked #4 by the WBC and #13 by the WBA, WBO and the IBF, did everything he could to stop Taylor inside the scheduled distance but the American fighter, who was earlier scheduled to fight against WBA champion in recess Guillermo Jones in Caracas, survived until the very end with visible ease. All three judges had the fight for Rakhim Chakhkiev, who needs to employ new tactics and to find new tricks for his future opponents in order to knock them out rather than to score one-sided decisions. BoxingScene scored the bout 99-90 - also for the Russian.