Vitaly Klitschko knocked out Larry Donald in the 10th round yesterday in Dortmund, Germany, paving the way for a WBC title fight with Lennox Lewis.
The big Ukrainian caught Donald with a right in the round, sending the American to the canvas for the first time in his career.
Klitschko, 32-1 with 31 knockouts, then went after Donald, hitting him with a flurry of punches.
Donald went down four more times, twice because Klitschko flung him to the canvas.
Donald, reeling away from some more punches, then fell over for a fifth time, this time because his wobbly legs collapsed, and the fight was called.
"Nobody had knocked him out because he's fast and an uncomfortable opponent, but I did it," Klitschko said.
Klitschko found out just hours before the fight that his wife gave birth to a baby girl.
The 6-foot-8 former WBO champion hadn't fought in nine months and looked a little rusty in the first few rounds. The bout was delayed four months because Klitschko had back problems.
Now, after a successful return to the ring, Klitschko will likely face Lewis for the WBC title, probably in the spring.
"I look forward to fighting Lewis in three or four months. I will do my best so that it turns out like this fight," Klitschko said.
Donald, four inches shorter, couldn't get inside to hit Klitschko and fell far behind on points. His record fell to 39-3-2.
Donald, who likes to dance in the ring, slowed down with every round. He occasionally attacked in small bursts, but he also often stood flatfooted in the later rounds.
Klitschko found the range in the eighth round, catching Donald with three clean shots in the first half of the round.
Donald, 35, has never had a title fight and may now never get the chance. He owns a win against Tim Witherspoon, but lost his only other big fight to Kirk Johnson.
Klitschko's younger brother, Wladimir, was in the corner as usual. Wladimir Klitschko is also a top contender, some say boxing's coming heavyweight.
Camacho Jr. Wins
Hector Camacho Jr. stopped Freddie Ladd in the first round of a welterweight bout Friday night at the Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, Calif.
Camacho ended the bout with a straight left to the head of Ladd, who buckled and twisted his right ankle on his way down to the canvas. Ladd struggled to his feet, but was unable to continue. The bout was halted at 1 minute 19 seconds, and Ladd left the ring on a stretcher.
Camacho, 24, improved to 35-1 with his 20th knockout, and the 30-year-old Ladd, of Memphis, dropped to 44-10 with 33 knockouts. Camacho weighed in at 144 pounds, Ladd at 1441/2.