BBC Sport boxing

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 22:40 GMT, Saturday, 16 October 2010 23:40 UK

Vitali Klitschko beats Shannon Briggs to retain title

Briggs takes a right hand from Klitschko
Briggs withstood some fearful blows

Ukraine's Vitali Klitschko retained his WBC heavyweight title in Hamburg on Saturday, beating American challenger Shannon Briggs on points.

Klitschko, 39, won 120-107, 120-107, 120-105, in his fifth successful defence since claiming the title in 2008 following a four-year break.

Klitschko dominated Briggs to extend his record to 41 wins, 38 by knockout, with just two defeats in his career.

For New Yorker Briggs, 38, it was his sixth defeat from 58 fights.

With Klitschko's brother Wladimir holding the IBF and WBO titles the only belt the brothers are missing is the WBA title held by Britain's David Haye, who one of the Klitschkos hopes to meet in 2011.

In the lead-up to Saturday's fight, Vitali Klitschko had scotched reports he was intending to announce his retirement from boxing.

Vitali Klitschko
Klitschko could face Britain's David Haye in 2011

The muscular and dreadlocked Briggs was never able to live up to his pre-bout bragging when he had claimed he had never prepared so well for a fight.

Klitschko set out to tire Briggs with a mix of right hooks to his face and blows to his body.

From the fourth round, the older of the two champion Ukrainians took command as he showcased his accuracy and mobility, unfazed by the odd verbal blow from his opponent.

In both the seventh and 10th rounds Klitschko appeared to have done enough to stop Briggs, only for the big American to pick himself up for more punishment, and he hung on grimly until the end.

"I gave everything, my hand is really sore, but his ability to take punches was impressive," said Klitschko.

Briggs said: "I've boxed against Lewis and Foreman, I put up my best fight of my career tonight. But Vitali is too quick, he hits hard, harder than all the others, he's a great boxer."

see also
Bullish Briggs plans quick finish
30 Aug 10 |  Boxing
Vitali on Briggs and Haye
31 Jul 10 |  Boxing
Briggs on Klitschko and Haye
29 Jul 10 |  Boxing
Klitschko retains his WBC title
29 May 10 |  Boxing
Ibragimov takes title off Briggs
03 Jun 07 |  Boxing
Briggs wins WBO heavyweight crown
05 Nov 06 |  Boxing

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites