By Alexey Sukachev
Bern, Switzerland - Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 51KOs) stopped mandatory challenger Tony Thompson (36-3, 24KOs) in the sixth round of their rematch to retain the WBO/IBO/WBA/IBF heavyweight titles. In their 2008 encounter, Wladimir knocked Thompson out in eleven rounds.
The early rounds were tactical. Wladimir was winning the boxing match and finding the target more often. In the fifth round, Wladimir landed a big right hand to send Thompson down in the corner. He barely beat the count and lasted until the bell.
In the sixth, Wladimir landed hard right hands to send Thompson crashing to the mat. He once again barely beat the count, but this time the referee stopped the action as Thompson was very unsteady on his feet.
Things didn't go smoothly for the WBO #12 cruiserweight Nuri Seferi (32-6, 19 KOs), but in the end his powerful right hook got the job done against Romanian upset artist Guilian Ilie (18-6-2, 5 KOs), earning the Albanian a close majority decision over eight rounds. The scores were: 78-73, 78-72 and an astonishing 77-77 - in a fight highlighted by two knockdowns by Seferi.
Ilie, 34, started the bout very successfully, easily outboxing shorter and slower 35-year-old Seferi. The Albanian did his part of the job by hanging on and trying to earn some points in his wild spurts but perception was that it wasn't enough. Ilie slowed a bit in the middle of the bout but Seferi failed to get some heat to him. He was also badly cut over his forehead in the fifth. The bout was going into Ilie's favoor, when - all of a sudden - Seferi turned wild and landed some very hard blows with a finishing right hand in the sixth stanza, the last punch putting Ilie down. The seventh round was also slightly in Seferi's favor, and during the eighth he struck lightining again by decking Ilie with a very hard right hook. The Romanian was able to survive but didn't win on the cards.
In a battle of two middleweights, Switzerland-based Hungarian Isztvan Szili (16-0, 6 KOs) started slowly in an eight-rounder against Polish journeyman Daniel Urbanski (21-10-3, 5 KOs) but gradually worked his way back into the fight and dominated his foe in the second half of the bout to win a wide unanimous decision. Scores were 80-70 across the boards. BoxingScene had almost agreed with official judges at 79-71.
Szili's slow start was partially induced by his economical style of punching and also by his overly methodical approach. As soon as Szili started to throw blows with conviction, Urbanski immediately went into survival mode where he could been found since round four. The Pole was fighting on unsteady legs and ate a painful diet of leather. Szili dropped the opponent late into the sixth with a combination of punches with an accent on his left hand. In round seven the Pole was also deducted a point for ducking too low with his head in clinches. And he was very lucky to end this contest on his legs after eating another huge left bomb at the end of the eighth stanza.
In the opening fight of the televised undercard, Tony Harrison, a new pupil of Emanuel Steward, make quick work of 36-year old and previously unstoppable Swiss Flavio Turelli (10-6-2, 1 KO) in just 93 seconds. Harrison, 21, pinned his opponent to the corner early on, made him defenseless with a flurry of fast punches and forced referee to step in and to wave it off. Harrison of Detroit is now 8-0, with 8 KOs.