Impressive win for Klitschko (by SkySports.com)
06/20/2009 - Wladimir Klitschko sent out a warning to David Haye with a polished victory over late stand-in opponent Ruslan Chagaev in Gelsenkirchen.
The IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight champion looked in fabulous shape after training hard for the expected clash with Haye, who withdrew two weeks ago through injury, and appeared determined to put on a show for the record attendance at Schalke's football stadium.
Chagaev was previously undefeated in 25 fights and remains 'champion in recess' with the WBA, but failed to land a telling blow, let alone come close to upsetting Klitschko.
Chagaev's southpaw stance appeared to be more of a hinderance to the Uzbek rather than a problem for the champion, who kept the challenger at distance with a long, often pawing jab.
He was quickly subdued by the power of the sharp left hand continually penetrating his defence, and was on the seat of his pants late in the second round after a straight right landed flush on the nose.
However, Klitschko maintained his usual safety-first attitude and threw the big right sparingly, having been dropped countless times in the past when leaving himself open to big bombs.
Even so, the combinations couldn't fail to miss a mostly stationary Chagaev, who was cut badly over the left eye in his last fight and suffered the same fate once again during the sixth round.
The challenger landed his biggest shot after the bell sounded to end the seventh, and Klitschko came out fired up in the next as he upped the pace with a series of punishing blows.
Chagaev found himself on the ropes in the ninth and did well to reach the bell as Klitschko teed off on his opponent, who went for long periods without throwing anything in return.
The champion had clearly won every round and the Uzbek's corner did the right thing when they pulled their man out before the 10th round, leaving Klitschko clearly the best heavyweight - outside his own family at least - in the world.
The triumph improves his impressive record to 53-3, with 47 of those wins coming by way of stoppage.