Boxing


Berrio claims IBF belt, Povetkin stops Bostice

04.03.07 - Alejandro Berrio clinched the vacant IBF super-middleweight title in spectacular fashion and Russian sensation Alexander Povetkin logged another impressive early stoppage in Rostock on Saturday night. WBA Intercontinental Champion Sebastian Sylvester and German heavyweight Timo Hoffmann also left the ring victorious.

In the main fight of the evening, Berrio knocked down Robert Stieglitz twice in the third round, first with a hard right hand and then with a right hook. When the previously unbeaten German (29-1, 19 KOs) found himself under pressure again, the referee waved the fight off. "I can´t believe it," Berrio (26-4, 25 KOs) enthused. "This is the greatest day of my life. I´m so glad I got a chance to fight him again. He let his defense slip in the third." The pair had already clashed in December 2005, with Stieglitz scoring an 11th-round TKO win. "He has learnt from that fight," the 25-year-old said afterwards. "I could not bounce back from the first knock-down."

Sauerland Event had come to terms with the hard-hitting Colombian at the end of last year. "I want to thank my German promoters," Berrio said. "They have done a great job. I want to fight here again." Manager Wilfried Sauerland already has something up his sleeves. "We expect him to fight again in May or June," Sauerland said. "We don´t yet know who the opponent will be. With Danilo Haeussler, Markus Beyer, Mads Larsen and Vitali Tsypko we have a lot of strong fighters in the super-middleweight division. We´ll see."

On the undercard, former amateur supremo Alexander Povetkin added another impressive win to his name as he took out David Bostice (37-12, 15 KOs) inside two rounds. Sauerland Event had encountered difficulties in finding an opponent for the former Olympic gold medal winner, and his impressive performance told why. With Russian TV broadcasting live, Povetkin was off to a flying start, landing big hands from the first bell on. When he pinned Bostice to the ropes at the end of the second by firing in perfectly-placed and well-timed hands, the bout was halted. Povetkin improved to 11-0 with 9 KOs.

In the co-featured main event, Sebastian Sylvester pleased his home crowd with a 12th-round stoppage of Italy´s Alessio Furlan. The Hurricane was surprised how much shots his opponent could take. "He has got an iron head," said Sylvester. "There was nothing I could do." Much to the delight of his 4,500 home fans, Sylvester knocked Furlan down in the seventh with one of his thunderous rights. The challenger somehow managed to hang on, though, and it was in the 10th that Sylvester picked up a cut below his left eye following a head butt. When the Hurricane caught Furlan with another series of punches in the 12th, the referee eventually stepped in to end the beating. "It was great to fight in front of my home fans," said Sylvester. "When I heard the crowd in the locker room I knew that nothing could go wrong tonight." And manager Winfried Spiering added: "We have firmly set our sights on the world title."

Also in Rostock, German Oak Timo Hoffmann continued his upward trend with a fourth-round KO victory over Konstantin Onofrei. Fellow heavyweight René Dettweiler also stopped Tipton Walker in the fourth.

Article posted on 04.03.2007



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