Wladimir Klitschko didn't lack for a killer instinct today, at least until Mariusz Wach had made it clear that it was going to take an almost superhuman effort to end today's WBO, IBF, and WBA heavyweight title fight inside the distance.
Wach took a ton of punishment but stayed on his feet for 12 full rounds today, absorbing rights and lefts from Klitschko through eight mostly one-sided rounds, before the fight settled into a cruise control feel for the final four rounds, leading to Klitschko winning on scores of 120-107, 120-107, and 119-109.
Klitschko (59-3, 50 KO) went hard after the stoppage in the seventh and eighth rounds especially, but Wach (27-1, 15 KO) just refused to go down, taking the champ's best blows and staying up. He did wobble a couple of times but was never in serious trouble. The most hurt either fighter was came in the fifth round, when Wach hurt Klitschko with a right hand late in the round. If that right hand had come in earlier in the frame, we might have seen something huge today, but it wasn't in the cards, and it was really the only advantage Wach ever held in the fight, too. So it's hard to put much stock into it other than it was an exciting moment.
Klitschko now moves on, as expected, and will probably fight sometime in early 2013, perhaps March. There is no opponent they've been said to have an eye on, besides perhaps Alexander Povetkin, but they don't seem confident in getting that fight done, even though Povetkin now says he wants the bout. Remember, Klitschko has been burned twice by Povetkin, who signed to fight him in 2008 and 2009, and didn't show up for either bout.
Marco Huck has also been mentioned, but German TV rights -- the Klitschkos work with RTL, and Sauerland Event with ARD -- probably prevent that from getting too serious.
As for Wach, he probably bought himself another big fight today. He is very limited, and very beatable, but he's tough, and given how little credibility he had coming in, today was a PR win for him to last a hard 12 with the best heavyweight in the world.
We'll have more live coverage starting shortly, with the Mares-Moreno card beginning at 8 pm EST, and Martirosyan-Lara starting at 9:45 pm EST.