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Klitschko Pummels Williams to Retain Title

Associated Press
Sunday, December 12, 2004; Page E14

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 11 -- Vitali Klitschko staked his claim to being the true heavyweight champion Saturday night, knocking Danny Williams down four times and giving him a savage beating before finally stopping him in the eighth round.

Klitschko, of Ukraine, retained his WBC heavyweight title in a lopsided fight that left Williams bloodied, battered and barely able to see.

"I feel I am the real heavyweight champion," Klitschko said. "I'm willing to fight anybody."

Williams, a 270-pound journeyman from England, remained game even after the final knockdown in the eighth round, getting up at the count of nine. But referee Jay Nady decided he had taken enough punishment and waved the fight to a close at 1 minute 26 seconds of the round.

Williams tried his best, plodding after Klitschko in the third round, but he rarely got inside the 6-foot-7, 250-pound champion's stiff jab and took a pounding from his right hand. Klitschko knocked Williams down in the first, third and seventh rounds before the final knockdown. Klitschko won every round on all three scorecards and landed 296 punches to 44 for Williams.

In another fight, Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico remained unbeaten by stopping former champion Randall Bailey in the sixth round of their WBO 140-pound title fight.

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