Moscow, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – For the 15th straight time, Wladimir Klitschko successfully defended his three heavyweight belts with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision win over Alexander Povetkin Saturday at Olimpiyskiy Arena.
Klitschko, holder of the WBA, IBF and WBO belts, knocked down Povetkin four times en route to 119-104 scores on all cards.
With the victory, Klitschko improved to 61-3 (51 knockouts) while the previously unbeaten Povetkin slipped to 26-1 (18 knockouts).
“It was a tough job for me. Alexander is a real fighter. I repeatedly hit him hard, but he showed great heart. I would have liked a KO, but I believe it was a deserved win. I think I can improve still,” said Klitschko, who earned a career-high $17,499,997.
“Things didn’t quite go as well as I wanted, but I never give up. Of course, he was the better fighter. Wladimir is the best boxer in the world. It was a fair fight. I gave everything. I will try to train more,” said Povetkin, who pocketed $5,833,333.
In the first round, Povetkin came out aggressively while both fighters landed solid punches but Klitschko got the advantage when he dropped the challenger with a short left hook in round two.
The action crawled until the sixth round but Klitschko turned up the heat in the seventh round, knocking down Povetkin thrice.
Klitschko rocked Povetkin in round eleven, but referee Luis Pabon took a point from the champion for pushing down a wobbly Povetkin.
Klitschko now owns the second-longest title reign at seven-plus years and his 15 successful defenses are the third-most all time in the heavyweight division behind Larry Holmes (20) and Joe Louis (25, boxing’s all-time record for any division).
The victory was Klitschko’s 22nd in a world title fight across two title reigns. That tied him with Muhammad Ali for second place in heavyweight history, trailing only Louis’ 26 wins in championship fights.