By Per Ake Persson, Alexey Sukachev and Ruslan Chikov
Imtech-Arena, Hamburg, Germany - Before a crowd of nearly 60,000 fans, Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over David Haye (25-2, 23KOs) to unify the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles. The scores were 117-109, 118-108 and 116-110.
Klitschko started the fight by stalking and putting the pressure on Haye, who stayed on the backfoot and looked for counterpunch opportunities. Wladimir started with his jab in the second minute. Haye started taking some chances by jumping in with big punches but missing.
Wladimir's right hand began to land in the second. Haye continued to jump in with punches and continued to miss those shots. Haye landed a good right hand that forced Klitschko to hold on. Wladimir got his composure back and started to go back to the jab. Haye fired back with a good combination and then Wladimir fired back with his own combination.
Wladimir came out with a lot of pressure in the fourth and landed a good right hand at the start. Klitschko came with a quick flurry before Haye tied him up. Klitschko went back to the jab and tried to land that right hand, but Haye was able to get away. Haye jumped in during the final ten seconds, landing a glancing right hand.
Haye was taunting Klitschko at the start of the fifth round as the unified champion pumped his jab. Wladimir landed the best combination of the fight, at this point, stunning Haye for a brief moment. Haye recovered well and tried Klitschko up.
Klitschko back with the pressure in the sixth round. Haye was moving away very quickly to avoid the shots. haye was unable to avoid a right hand in the final ten seconds. Klitschko had a cut around his nose when the round closed out.
In the seventh round, Klitschko lost a point in the first minute for pulling Haye down, which happened a few times in the fight. Klitschko went back to the jab. Haye landed a lefthook and Klitschko walked right through it.
Klitschko started jabbing faster in the eight round. Round filled with Klitschko pressuring, and Haye slipping as many shots as possible, but not landing any counters.
Haye with a good right hand at the start of the ninth round. Klitschko went back to the jab and was catching Haye with a few right hands in the final minute.
Klitschko pushing Haye back with the jab in the tenth. He continued to lead with the jab for the full three minutes and continued to do the same in the eleventh. There was a moment in the eleventh where Haye rushed at Klitschko and fell, but the referee thought a punch had landed and scored it as a knockdown.
Klitschko landed a hard right hand that stunned Klitschko and forced him to hold. Klitschko recovered and went quickly on the attack, going after Haye with both hands. Haye was throwing wild punches that missed their mark with Klitschko landing a few more jabs.
Detroit native Tony Harrison made a devastating professional debut with an annihilation of German trialhorse Uwe Tritschler (3-5-1, 1 KO) at 1:47 of the first round. The German was down once after several leading right hands by Harrison, and was finished off soon thereafter with a painful left hook to the rib cage.
Unworthy Hungarian prospect Gabor Veto (25-0, 19 KOs) showed how badly padded his record really was in a come-from-behind eight-round knockout win over Kenyan James Kimori (15-6, 11 KOs). Almost unknown Kimori, who got all but one of his victories over non-descript opposition in his native land, had been giving Veto hell for seven rounds before succumbing to his power with his stamina not intact and with his right eye swollen shut. Veto ended matters with just twelve seonds remaining with a crushing right counter to the chin of the Kenyan. BoxingScene had it 68-65 - for the Kenyan at the time of stoppage. Veto's record impresses, his boxing - clearly does not.
Former WBO cruiserweight champion Ola Afolabi (17-2-3, 8 KOs) continued his comeback to the top of the cruiserweights division with a thunder. WBO #2, WBA #3, IBF #9 and WBC #11 ranked fighter put his aged, 42-year old opponent Terry Dunstan (24-4, 14 KOs), who unsuccessfully challenged IBF champion Imamu Mayfield back in 1998, to sleep with a crushing overhand right at 2;40 of the very first round. Hall-of-Fame referee Stanley Christodolou didn't even bother to count and waved the fight off almost immediately. Afolabi defended his WBO I/C title in this "contest".
In the first televised bout of the Klitschko vs. Haye undercard at Imtech-Arena in Hamburg, Germany, bitter rivals Ashley Sexton (11-0-2, 5 KOs) and Mike "Robbo" Robinson (4-2-3, still no KOs) mixed it up, despite the pouring rain, in a pretty heated rematch of Sexton's controversial points victory in late April. Both fighters were eager to go toe-to-toe and to make a slugfest of a proposed eight-rounder. Bigger but less talented Robinson pressed the action and was rather successful in the first couple of rounds. The more technically sound Sexton, who is a former BBBofC British flyweight king, found his distance in the middle rounds. Both boxers gave their all in closing rounds, and it seemed that Sexton was just slightly more precise with his punches. BoxingScene scored it 77-76 - for Ashley. Official scores were 77-75, 76-78 and 76-76, thus making this fight a draw.