MAGDEBURG, Germany -- Ruslan Chagaev of Uzbekistan defended his WBA heavyweight belt with a first-round technical knockout of Francesco Pianeta on Saturday.
Chagaev dropped Pianeta with two left blows early in the first round, but the Italian-born German got up before the count. Chagaev pushed his advantage and left him on the canvas again with another two lefts, and referee Jean-Louis Legland had no option but to end the bout just before the bell.
The Hamburg-based Chagaev improved to 34-2-1 (21 KOs) with his first defense of the belt he won for the second time by beating American Fres Oquendo for the vacant title in Grozny, Russia, on July 6 last year. Pianeta drops to 31-2-1 (17 KOs).
"My heart is broken. I wasn't careful. ... Congratulations to Chagaev," Pianeta said.
Both fighters previously lost to Wladimir Klitschko, Chagaev in June 2009, and Pianeta in May 2013.