Boxing: Brodie and Klitschko stopped by long shots

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The Independent Online

Two world title challengers facesome hard decisions this morning after suffering shock defeats on Saturday night. In Las Vegas Vladimir Klitschko was stopped in round five of his World Boxing Organisation heavyweight title fight by the unknown Lamon Brewster, while in Manchester Michael Brodie's fight for the World Boxing Council featherweight title ended in seven painful rounds against Injin Chi.

Two world title challengers facesome hard decisions this morning after suffering shock defeats on Saturday night. In Las Vegas Vladimir Klitschko was stopped in round five of his World Boxing Organisation heavyweight title fight by the unknown Lamon Brewster, while in Manchester Michael Brodie's fight for the World Boxing Council featherweight title ended in seven painful rounds against Injin Chi.

Klitschko, the younger of the two Ukrainian brothers, was dominating his fight before he left himself exposed for a second to a heavy left hook from Brewster which dropped him to the floor. He regained his feet but stumbled and fell again as the bell sounded and the referee put an end to the fight.

As a precaution Klitschko was kept overnight in hospital for observation because he appeared to be very distressed following what will probably have been his last chance at establishing himself as a dominant heavyweight.

Brewster is not a particularly vicious puncher and started the fight as the underdog. There were even moments in round four, when he was down, and in round five when it looked like he would be stopped.

However, the heavyweight division is boxing's most glamorous and exciting discipline because heavyweight boxers can always be relied upon to do the unexpected.

In Manchester Brodie's future as a featherweight must now be the main topic of conversation when he meets with his manager and promoter this week. His defeat against Injin Chi in a rematch of last October's brutal draw was a totally different fight. Brodie did not look happy at any point and he was knocked down in the opening round before sinking to his knees in round seven.

When they met the first time both repeatedly hurt each other, but there was little suggestion that Chi's punches could cause the havoc that they did on Saturday night in front of some 4,000 people in the MEN Arena.

Brodie at first dismissed suggestions that his performance had been well below his standard but perhaps, as the days pass, his advisors will sit him down and try and get him to believe that he has some tough decisions to make. Chi is nowhere near as good as he looked in the seven one-sided rounds that left Brodie such a broken man on Saturday night.

In many ways the same can be said of Brewster, who is by no means the heavyweight division's saviour. Realistically, all that he proved in Las Vegas on Saturday night was that the sport's richest prize is in a dreadful, yet entertaining, condition.

Both Klitschko and Brodie could return, but there is a serious possibility that their best nights in the ring are over. For both fighters that is a sad fact to contemplate.

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