WBA “regular” champ Aleksandr Povetkin of Russia needed less than two rounds to finish off US mandatory challenger, Hasim Rahman.
Rahman entered the match at 116.4 kilograms, with his Russian opponent being 12.5 kilos lighter.
And it was the advantage in speed that gave Povetkin the upper hand in the German city of Hamburg.
Rahman missed a strong blow in the second round and pressed against the ropes, with the rest of the bout turning into a beating.
The referee had no choice but to stop the fight when he saw that the American was unable to defend himself.
“We just began working with [coach and former four-time world light welterweight champion], Kostya Tszyu,” Povetkin said after the match. “But we’re doing well and I’m giving my best. I wasn’t going forward today as I tried to catch him on a counterattack. And it worked.”
It was the Russian's 26th win in as many professional bouts, with the 33-year-old collecting his 17th KO victory.
As for Rahman, the 39-year-old veteran seems to have blown his last chance to claim the world title.
“I haven’t seen Rahman’s last bouts,” the Russian Knight commented. “But he was first on the rankings. I don’t care, whom I fight. He was No. 1. All I can say is that he’s an experienced boxer with a strong punch.”
Next on Povetkin’s agenda is a much anticipated bout against super-champion Wladimir Klitschko, with the bout to be staged in spring of next year.
“I’m ready. I’ll fight him if I’m told,” he said. “If the Klitschko bout is confirmed, I’ll start preparing. He’s the strongest heavyweight in the world. It’ll be nice to face him.”
In another notable meeting of the night, undefeated Kubrat Pulev has defended his European heavyweight title.
The Bulgarian collected an 11th-round TKO win against 2.02-meter-tall Aleksandr Ustinov of Belarus.