Berlin: World heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev successfully defended his WBA belt on Saturday with a first-round knock-out as challenger Francesco Pianeta was put down twice in the brief bout.
After undisputed heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko was promoted to the WBA`s `Super` champion in 2011, Chagaev successfully defended the World Boxing Association heavyweight belt he won last year with a points win over US fighter Fres Oquendo.
In a dramatic opening bout in Magdeburg, southpaw Chagaev left Germany`s Pianeta on all fours on the canvas with two rapid left hooks with less than 90 seconds gone.
Although the challenger survived the count, Pianeta was put down again just before the bell with another left hook on the ropes.
As he struggled to get to his feet, the 30-year-old gave the referee little option but to stop the fight as Pianeta`s bid to become Germany`s first heavyweight champion since Max Schmeling in 1932 ended in embarrassment.
Pianeta, the German and European heavyweight champion, suffered only the second defeat of his career in his 34 professional bouts having previously lost in 2013 on a technical knock-out after being put on the canvas three times by Klitschko.
The 37-year-old Uzbekistan-born Chagaev, who has been nicknamed `White Tyson` first won the WBA world title in 2007 when he beat Russian giant Nikolay Valuev on points, but then lost to Klitschko in 2009 to suffer the first defeat of his career.
He was defeated on a unanimous decision by Alexander Povetkin in 2011, but has now bounced back with seven straight wins to leave him with a record of 21 knock-outs in 34 wins with two defeats and a draw.