by Johnny Walker
WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs) dominated a game Manuel Charr today at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia, with the title fight being stopped during round four due to a cut opened by a Klitschko punch.
Klitschko fought offensively from the start, his hands down at his thighs, daring Charr (21-1, 11 KOs), to attack him. Charr initially fought in a peek-a-boo shell, but gradually began to assert himself, landing a few decent shots on the champion. After a good exchange late in round two, Klitschko caught Charr on the top of the head with a right hand and sent the challenger to the canvas.
Charr fought gamely in round three, but Klitschko still landed the most and the most telling shots. Finally in round four, a Klitschko left hook opened a gash over Charr’s right eye, and the fighter was soon bathing in his own blood.
Referee Guido Cavalleri then decided to stop the fight based on advice from the ringside physicians, and Charr was furious. Indeed, it seemed that the challenger’s corner should have been given a chance to work on the cut.
The biggest question coming out of this fight is whether Klitschko will now retire or proceed with a fight with his long-time nemesis, David “Hayemaker” Haye of England. Klitschko looked as dominant today as ever, while Charr was certainly doing better than some of Vitali’s more highly touted opponents, such as American Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson, before the cut stopped the action.
The thinking here is that the WBC champion will choose to end his career with the spectacle longed for by fans of heavyweight boxing: a showdown with the Hayemaker.