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Klitschko sees off brave Povetkin

ESPN staff
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Wladimir Klitschko's title reign in the second-longest in history © Getty Images
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Wladimir Klitschko may divide opinions, but the Ukrainian knows how to win a fight as he retained his WBO, IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision over Alexander Povetkin in Moscow.

The 37-year-old's title reign of more than seven years became the second-longest in history, but even though he still has to continue his dominance for another five years to catch up with record-holder Joe Louis, Klitschko remains a cut above the rest as he saw off former Olympic champion Povetkin to end the Russian's unbeaten career run.

The jabs of Klitschko and his defensive strategies may not be appealing or entertaining to most audiences, but Povetkin, who Klitschko regarded as "his best opponent", was unable to find a way past him.

Bagging a career-high $17.5 million compared to Povetkin's $5.8m, Klitschko hurt his opponent in the opening round with a left hook at the conclusion of it, despite the best efforts of Povetkin to get inside Klitschko's defence.

A short left hook from Klitschko ensured Povetkin fell to the canvas for the first time in his career in the second round, and by taking the third round Klitschko was in total command of the bout.

Wladimir Klitschko was in control of the fight from start to finish © Getty Images
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Klitschko was landing the heavier blows and managing to duck Povetkin well, and the latter struggled to make an impact as Klitschko held him mostly throughout a scrappy fifth round.

With Klitschko in a comfortable position, the Ukrainian turned up the heat in the seventh round by dropping Povetkin three times, beginning with a left-right combination. Somehow, Povetkin was able to get to the end of the round, but at this moment Klitschko was a long way in front on points and Povetkin required a knockout to get the win.

Klitschko was docked a point in the 11th round for throwing, but it made no difference to the outcome as he closed out the victory, with all three judges scoring the bout 119-104.

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