Ruslan Chagaev won a technical decision over Carl Davis Drumond
on Saturday night in the Uzbekistan-born heavyweight's first fight in more than a year.
The WBA's "champion in recess," Chagaev was ahead of Drumond
on points when referee Gustavo Padilla stopped the bout after the
sixth round. An accidental headbutt had opened a nasty cut over
Chagaev's swollen left eye, marring his vision.
Chagaev (25-0-1, 17 KOs) was taken to a hospital to treat the
gash, and it was unclear how it would affect his upcoming schedule.
"It was a sad end to the fight," Chagaev said.
Drumond, from Costa Rica, kept trying to worsen the cut over
Chagaev's eye but could not find a knockout opportunity. Drumond
lost for the first time in 27 fights in front of 4,000 fans at
Stadthalle in this northern German port city.
Judges Hector Afu and Paul Thomas had Chagaev ahead 58-56, while
Jean-Louis Legland had him ahead 60-54.
Chagaev was the WBA champion when he bowed out of a rematch with Nikolai Valuev because of a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Valuev
won the vacant title last August by beating John Ruiz, then defended
it in December against former champion Evander Holyfield.
The 30-year-old Chagaev, because of his "champion in recess"
status, must face Valuev by the end of June for the belt.
Chagaev won the WBA version of the title by beating Valuev in
Stuttgart on April 14, 2007.
On the undercard, Andreas Kotelnik (31-2-1) of Ukraine defended
his WBA junior welterweight title with a hard-fought split decision
over Marcos Rene Maidana. It was Kotelnik's second defense of the
title and the hard-hitting Argentine's first loss in 26 fights.
Two of the judges ruled in favor of Kotelnik 115-114 and
115-113, while the third called the fight for Maidana, 115-113.
"I had a very strong opponent," Kotelnik said. "He's a good,
Also, Russian heavyweight Denis Boytsov improved to 24-0 with a
second-round knockout of Israel Carlos Garcia.