Vitali Klitschko vs. Larry Donald

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Lg klischko donald ap-01.jpg

2002-11-23 : Vitali Klitschko 246¾ lbs beat Larry Donald 225½ lbs by TKO at 2:35 in round 10 of 12

  • WBA Inter-Continental Heavyweight Title (3rd defense by Klitschko)
  • WBA Heavyweight Title Eliminator

Ukrainian to face Lewis after 31st knockout in 33 fights

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) -- Vitaly Klitschko knocked out Larry Donald in the 10th round Saturday, paving the way for a WBC title fight with Lennox Lewis.

The big Ukrainian caught Donald with a right in the round, sending the American to the canvas for the first time in his career.

Klitschko, 32-1 with 31 knockouts, then went after Donald, hitting him with a flurry of punches. Donald went down four more times, twice because Klitschko flung him to the canvas.

Donald, reeling away from some more punches, then fell over for a fifth time, this time because his wobbly legs collapsed, and the fight was called.

"Nobody had knocked him out because he's fast and an uncomfortable opponent, but I did it," Klitschko said.

Klitschko's promoter Hans-Peter Kohl said the contract with Lewis for the WBC title fight has already been drawn up.

"We drew up the contract six weeks ago. We will meet with Lewis' camp next week," Kohl said.

Klitschko found out just hours before the fight that his wife gave birth to a baby girl.

"My wife told me I gave you a gift and now you have to come home with a big victory," Klitschko said.

The 6-foot-8 former WBO champion hadn't fought in nine months and looked a little rusty in the first few rounds. The bout was delayed four months because Klitschko had back problems.

Now, after a successful return to the ring, Klitschko will likely face Lewis for the WBC title, probably in the spring.

"I look forward to fighting Lewis in three or four months. I will do my best so that it turns out like this fight," Klitschko said.

Donald, 4 inches shorter, couldn't get inside to hit Klitschko and fell far behind on points. His record fell to 39-3-2.

Donald, who likes to dance in the ring, slowed down with every round. He occasionally attacked in small bursts, but he also often stood flatfooted in the later rounds.

Klitschko found the range in the eighth round, catching Donald with three clean shots in the first half of the round.

"I think he's a super fighter," said promoter Don King, who was ringside.

Donald, 35, has never had a title fight and may now never get the chance. He owns a win against Tim Witherspoon, but lost his only other big fight to Kirk Johnson.

Klitschko's younger brother, Wladimir, was in the corner as usual. Wladimir Klitschko is also a top contender, some say boxing's coming heavyweight. [1]