Last night at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, WBA heavyweight ruler Alexander Povetkin successfully retained his title for the first time with a eighth round KO of 42 year old American challenger Cedric Boswell.
The champion stalked Boswell from the start but the challenger used good footwork to keep his younger rival on the outside, which made it difficult for Russia's Povetkin to get his offense going.
Once Povetkin managed to cut the distance down between the two, the former Olympic Gold Medalist's skill advantage became apparent as he started to find the range with his jab and left hook while Boswell managed to pick off Povetkin at times.
Povetkin opened up a wide points lead as the rounds wore on, forcing Boswell into the kind of exchanges the challenger was hoping to avoid.
By the seventh, Povetkin was firing on all cylinders and Boswell was definitely in crisis mode but the Russian closed the door in the closing seconds of the eighth, cornering the challenger and hammering in several left hooks before finishing off Boswell with a short right at 2:58 of the round.
Povetkin moves to 23-0 (16) while Boswell sees a 14 bout victory parade ended, dropping to 35-2 (26).
The card also included another high profile bout at heavyweight as super prospect Robert Helenius of Finland faced Dereck Chisora of England for the vacant European crown and the WBO/WBA intercontinental belts.
It was apparent from the start that former British and Commonwealth titlist Chisora came to fight as he pressured the much taller Helenius from the start.
Chisora worked the body and had Helenius backing up in the first half of the contest, outworking the local man, who fought back at times with good punches on the inside.
The big Finn woke up in the second half, coming forward to land the big right hand but his vaunted power couldn't dissuade Chisora, who kept firing back with both hands.
The final frame saw both fighters tired yet go for broke with Helenius nailing Chisora with a big left hook before the bell ended matters.
When the scores were read it was Helenius winning two cards 115-113 and Chisora winning the third 115-113 to produce a controversial split decision verdict for Helenius.
Given the nature of the decision, expect a mandated rematch.
There was also a big Women's boxing clash on the bill as WBC/WBA/WBO welter champ Cecilia Braekhus, 19-0 (5), dominated American challenger Kuulei Kupihea, 7-2 (2), who bravely made it to the tenth and final round before the bout was stopped.