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Maskaev keeps WBC title

MOSCOW (AP) - Oleg Maskaev retained his WBC heavyweight crown Sunday with a unanimous decision over Peter Okhello in the first world title fight held in Russia.
The 37-year-old Maskaev (34-5, 26 knockouts) captured the WBC title in August with a 12th-round knockout of Hasim Rahman. Okhello, a 34-year-old Ugandan who lives in Japan, dropped to 18-8 with 16 KOs.
Maskaev kept Okhello backpedalling in the early rounds and knocked him down with seconds left in the fourth round at Olympisky Stadium.
Early in the 10th, Maskaev put Okhello into the ropes and later in the round battered him to a standstill with short jabs to the head.
The sellout crowd of 10,000, which included WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev and former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, called for a knockout, but Maskaev couldn't land the blow.

"Not all worked smoothly today," Maskaev said. "But then I slowly braced myself and make it to the victory."
"I expected the fight to be long. Peter Othello was tough. I tested him several times, knocked him down but he withstood."
The judges scored the bout 120-107, 118-109 and 120-107 for Maskaev.
Maskaev was born in Kazakhstan when it was part of the Soviet Union, but has lived in the United States for a decade and is a U.S. and Russian citizen. President Vladimir Putin granted Maskaev Russian citizenship a day before the bout.


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