European cruiserweight champion Marco Huck retained his belt last night with a fifth round finishing of Ukrainian challenger Vitaliy Russell at Jako Arena in Bamberg.
Huck, 25-1 (20), proved too strong for the less experienced Rusal, 23-1 (16), who had come into the bout as the undefeated IBO Intercontinental titlist but the jump up to European level was too great.
Rusal had no answers for Huck's hard combinations and was down in the fifth before the bout was stopped at 2:58 of the round.
Huck has now won six straight following his failed bid to unseat IBF champion Steve Cunningham in December, 2007.
On the undercard, light middleweight Alexander Abraham, 25-0-1 (17), stopped Magomed Abdurakhmanov, 14-3 (7), with a body shot in the fourth in defense of the EBU-EE crown.
Cruiserweight Yoan Pablo Hernandez, 19-1 (11), outpointed Aaron Williams, 19-2-1 (13), after eight rounds.