Chavez loss ends career

In a fight as one-sided as was predicted, the Russian-born Australian Kostya Tszyu battered the Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez into long overdue retirement in Phoenix on Saturday to easily retain his World Boxing Council super lightweight title.

In a fight as one-sided as was predicted, the Russian-born Australian Kostya Tszyu battered the Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez into long overdue retirement in Phoenix on Saturday to easily retain his World Boxing Council super lightweight title.

Tszyu dropped Chavez for only the second time in his illustrious career, in the sixth round, before finishing him off. The six-times world champion absorbed several unanswered blows following the knock-down and the referee stopped the fight at 1min 30sec of the round.

The Australian, who won every round in front of a pro-Chavez crowd, moved to 25 wins with one loss and a draw. The faded Chavez, whom many believe should not have been awarded a title shot, is 103-5-2.

"It looks like this is the time for me to retire," said Chavez through an interpreter. "I think it's time for me to leave."

The one-sided fight was another setback for one boxing's main sanctioning bodies. While no other organisation even had the 38-year-old Chavez ranked in this weight class, the WBC president, Jose Sulaiman, listed the one-time great as the organisation's top contender and Tszyu's mandatory opponent.

Chavez was brave but little else in a sad performance. The champion was in control from the outset and began to punish the challenger in the third round. In the sixth, a right to the head by Tszyu sent Chavez to the canvas. His only other career knockdown came against Frankie Randall in 1994.

"It wasn't my strongest punch. It was just accurate and the timing was right," said the champion. "It's just in the right place. He's open, boom, he's gone."

Chavez rose unsteadily, beating the referee's count, and indicated that he wanted to continue. A follow-up barrage by Tszyu prompted the referee to step in and save Chavez from possible serious injury.

Chavez was unable to inflict any damage on Tszyu except with a number of low blows, one of which cost him a one-point deduction. "I expected him to throw wild punches, that's what he always does, and I just blocked them easy," said Tszyu. "My face is clean. He hit me a few times low."

But Tszyu paid tribute to the great former champion. "It was a big honour to fight this guy," he said. "I remember from my amateur days when I was a kid and he was already world champion. I never thought that I would fight him. I really enjoyed the fight today."

In the main bout on the undercard, Hector Camacho Jnr won a technical decision over the South African Philip Holiday. The fight was stopped in the sixth round when Camacho elbowed Holiday, cutting him above the right eye. The elbow was ruled accidental and Camacho won because he was ahead on the judges' cards.

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