Moscow – Undisputed world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has said he wants to improve despite retaining his titles with a unanimous points win over Russia's Alexander Povetkin.
The Ukrainian champion enjoyed an emphatic victory on Saturday in Moscow in his 24th world title fight, putting Povetkin on the canvas four times, three of which came in the seventh round alone.
All three judges awarded the fight 119-104 in Klitschko's favour as he retained his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts against the previously unbeaten Povetkin.
This was Klitschko's 61st victory in his 64th professional bout, in front of a 14,000-strong crowd, having earned his first world title back in 2006.
“I believe it was a deserved win, but I think I can improve still,” said Klitschko after the battle between the two former Olympic super-heavyweight champions.
“It was a fight against an opponent who had never lost before and really wanted to win.
“It was the fight of his life and wasn't easy.
“Despite taking many hits, he stayed on his feet and kept fighting on.
“Even at the end, he tried to land the lucky punch.
“I had to torture myself to win this one, but it was worth it.”
Having put Povetkin down three times in the seventh, Klitschko admitted he was annoyed not to claim the 52nd knock-out of his career there and then.
“Yeah, a bit. I had actually expected to hit him with even cleaner punches,” said the 37-year-old.
“I couldn't knock him out, even though I was close in the seventh and eight round, but I knew I would clearly win the fight.
“It's always a dream of mine to dominate a fight so much that the opponent has no chance to hurt me and I knock him out.”
After the fight in front of 14,000 at Moscow's Olimpiyski Arena
Povetkin was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, but admitted Klitschko deserved to be the undisputed champion.
“Of course, he was the better fighter, he's the best in the world, that's clear,” said the 34-year-old immediately after the bout.
Povetkin still walks away with a pursue of 4.31 million euros (US$5.3m), while Klitschko earned a career-high 12.88 million euros (US$17.4M) and came into the fight at his lowest weight since 2009.
With both fighters enjoying plenty of support in Moscow, Klitschko said he had been worried by the political tensions between the two former Soviet nations.
“It was like a football stadium, there were fans cheering for Povetkin and those cheering for me Ä that was so good,” said Klitschko, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was a noticeable absentee.
“At the end it was loud and emotional, just as sport should be.
“There wasn't a bad dust up (between the fans), which had been my fear given the political situation and luckily everything stayed friendly.”
With no obvious challenger on the horizon, Klitschko has said he had no clear plans but just wanted a rest from training, while his manager has ruled out a possible rematch.
“When someone like Wladimir wins each round so clearly, then there is no need for further discussion,” said Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente. – Sapa-AFP