Vitali Klitschko beats Shannon Briggs to retain title
Briggs takes a right hand from Klitschko
Briggs withstood some fearful blows
Ukraine's Vitali Klitschko retained his WBC heavyweight title in Hamburg on Saturday, beating American challenger Shannon Briggs on points.
Klitschko, 39, won 120-107, 120-107, 120-105, in his fifth successful defence since claiming the title in 2008 following a four-year break.
Klitschko dominated Briggs to extend his record to 41 wins, 38 by knockout, with just two defeats in his career.
For New Yorker Briggs, 38, it was his sixth defeat from 58 fights.
With Klitschko's brother Wladimir holding the IBF and WBO titles the only belt the brothers are missing is the WBA title held by Britain's David Haye, who one of the Klitschkos hopes to meet in 2011.
In the lead-up to Saturday's fight, Vitali Klitschko had scotched reports he was intending to announce his retirement from boxing.
Klitschko could face Britain's David Haye in 2011
The muscular and dreadlocked Briggs was never able to live up to his pre-bout bragging when he had claimed he had never prepared so well for a fight.
Klitschko set out to tire Briggs with a mix of right hooks to his face and blows to his body.
From the fourth round, the older of the two champion Ukrainians took command as he showcased his accuracy and mobility, unfazed by the odd verbal blow from his opponent.
In both the seventh and 10th rounds Klitschko appeared to have done enough to stop Briggs, only for the big American to pick himself up for more punishment, and he hung on grimly until the end.
"I gave everything, my hand is really sore, but his ability to take punches was impressive," said Klitschko.
Briggs said: "I've boxed against Lewis and Foreman, I put up my best fight of my career tonight. But Vitali is too quick, he hits hard, harder than all the others, he's a great boxer."
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