Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko comfortably retained his WBC heavyweight title on Saturday, scoring a unanimous points decision over Briton Dereck Chisora in Munich's Olympic Hall to ensure his family maintained a global stranglehold on the division.
The 40-year-old Klitschko -- whose younger brother Vladimir holds the WBO, IBF, WBA, and IBO crowns -- improved his record to 44-2, but he was forced to go the distance against the former British and Commonwealth champion, who made more enemies than friends with his antics before and after the 12-round clash.
I am happy to defend my title. It was a good performance from Chisora. I don't want to make excuses -- it was not easy -- but I saw every punch from Chisora. I am upset because I wanted to finish the fight before 12 rounds, Klitschko said in a ringside interview.
The taller Klitschko built the foundation for victory by dominating his shorter opponent in the opening rounds, his longer reach allowing him to pound Chisora with punishing rights from a distance.
Chisora, who had slapped his rival at the weigh-in on Friday and also spat water into Vladimir's face during the prefight ceremonies, recovered well and rattled Klitschko with a solid uppercut in the fifth round as he gained in confidence.
Klitschko, about 5 inches taller than Chisora, continued to cause damage with his big right, but failed to land the decisive blow as he gradually ran out of steam and was content to edge the latter rounds to secure the points win.
The judges scored the bout 118-110, 118-110, and 119-111 in favor of the Ukrainian with the defiant Briton, who continued to stare down both Klitschko brothers after the decision, demanding a rematch as the crowd of 12,000 booed and jeered him.
This booing, I don't -- as long as they paid money to watch the sport I love -- I don't mind, Chisora said. I want another fight. There will be a rematch, or I will fight his younger brother, added the fighter, who lost his third bout in his last four contests to fall to 15-3.
The heavily favored Klitschko looked more tired than usual in the closing rounds and praised his opponent's tenacity but not his demeanor. He tried to punch me to my body, but I have a strong stomach. It didn't hurt, he added. I have respect for Chisora as a fighter, but not as a human. He set a bad example for boxing and all fighters. He came from Great Britain, but he is not a gentleman.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O'Brien)