Wladimir Klitschko became the Ring Magazine heavyweight champion of the world with an easy victory over Ruslan Chagaev in Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Wladimir Klitschko kept his WBO/IBF/IBO titles and also became the legitimate heavyweight champion of the world with an easy, dominant victory over previously-unbeaten Ruslan Chagaev in front of over 60,000 fans in Germany. Chagaev retired after the ninth round due to a cut, having lost every round and being knocked down in the second frame.
Klitschko (53-3, 47 KO) won basically every second of the fight, only caught a handful of solid punches from Chagaev, and didn't even have to mix it up, really. He was super robotic Klitschko, and Chagaev was too slow and small to do anything about it. Jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, and then a 1-2. There was a point where Klitschko had Chagaev in the corner and went to the same well about four times before Chagaev finally moved his head out of the firing line. The fight was completely non-competitive.
For Chagaev (25-1-1, 17 KO) this isn't a dream-ender, but his deteriorating (?) health, lack of global name, lack of excitement and southpaw stance isn't going to do him any favors. He was clearly not in Klitschko's class, not that many of Wladimir's recent opponents have seemed as though they were.
The fight, as we said, was significant, but not a great watch. I didn't hate it, perhaps if only because I've seen so many worse Klitschko fights. But there's no arguing that this was a good, remotely exciting fight, and there's nothing about it that would have made someone want to watch boxing again if they weren't already a fan.
On a final note, ESPN had Robert Flores and BJ Flores commentating, as Brian Kenny and Joe Tessitore were unavailable. BJ is a terrible fighter to watch ply his trade, but on the mic he's pretty competent and probably has a better future there than in the ring. Robert Flores, however, was clearly half-clueless at best about his subject and did a terrible job the entire fight. The next time neither Kenny nor Tessitore are available, let's pray ESPN doesn't send Robert Flores to call a fight. I'm even handicapping for the fact that they weren't in Germany and thus were out of the atmosphere and, to some degree, the moment itself. It was brutal.