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Chagaev claims technical decision

RUSLAN Chagaev warmed up for a bid to regain the WBA heavyweight title with a technical decision over Carl Davis Drumond in a bout stopped after six rounds on Saturday.

Injuries had kept Chagaev out of the ring for more than a year and they threatened his comeback fight, too.

An unintentional head-butt in the third round caused a bloody cut above Chagaev's left eye to swell up. After the sixth round, referee Gustavo Padilla stopped the non-title fight and all three judges scored it for Chagaev: 60-54, 58-56 and 58-56.

Chagaev was taken to hospital to treat the gash. "It was a sad end to the fight."

Drumond said the shortened time-frame worked against his strategy. "We were waiting to make it go to the end, but it wouldn't reach."

Drumond, from Costa Rica, kept trying to worsen the cut but could not find a knockout opportunity, and lost for the first time in 27 fights in Rostock, northern Germany.

Chagaev (25-0-1, 17 KOs) was the WBA champion when he bowed out of a rematch with Nikolai Valuev because of a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Valuev grabbed the vacant title last August by beating John Ruiz, and defended it in December against former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

The 30-year-old Uzbekistan-born Chagaev must face Valuev by the end of June to regain the WBA title.

In Anaheim, California, Vic Darchinyan of Armenia stopped Mexico's Jorge Arce to retain his IBF, WBA, and WBC super flyweight titles on Saturday.

The fight ended after the 11th round when the ringside physician ruled that Arce could not continue because of a cut above his right eye.

At the time of the stoppage, all three judges had scored 10 of the 11 completed rounds for the champion, who fights out of Sydney and has taken Australian citizenship.

"I wanted to punish him," Darchinyan said. "I think you could see in round 11, when the round finished, he was almost ready to go down.


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