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Klitschko stops Gomez in ninth round!

Vitali Klitschko TKO9 Juan Carlos Gomez... On Saturday night, at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Vitali Klitschko retained his title with a sloppy by effective ninth round TKO of former cruiserweight champion Juan Carlos Gomez. The opening stanza, which I actually gave to Gomez, was pretty close. From the second round on, Klitschko assumed command as he began to find his range with the left jab and nailed Gomez with straight right hands and jarring left hooks.

After four rounds, Gomez's right eye was beginning to swell shut and was also bleeding. Klitschko dropped Gomez in the seventh round, but Gomez got up and was able to survive the round. Klitschko suffered a cut above his hairline, product of accidental clash of heads. In the ninth round, Klitschko once again dropped Gomez, but Gomez made it to his feet again. Klitschko continued to punish Gomez, as Gomez turned his back to him and the referee mercifully stopped the contest.

Overall, I felt that this was a sloppy performance on Vitali's part, but he was still effective enough to lay a beating on a skilled and experienced former champion. Klitschko has a pretty good straight right hand, but he paws way too much with his jab. His size is by far his greatest asset as well as the fact that he lets his hands go. Other than that he looks too loose and wide open for counter punches. If he was to face somebody the caliber of his brother, with that kind of height, reach, and boxing ability, I think he would be at serious risk of being exposed. However, somebody the likes of WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev might be able to pose a spirited challenge to Klitschko.

television: ESPN Classic