With a plurality of champions, all from Eastern Europe, the sport`s once-revered heavyweight division continues to battle an identity crisis, according to Miami Herald.
But Wladimir Klitschko, a native of Ukraine, is beginning his separation from the rest of the championship pack, which includes Russia`s Oleg Maskaev and Sultan Ibragimov and Uzbekistan`s Ruslan Chagaev.
According to the newspaper, already a two-time heavyweight champion, Klitschko made strides toward heavyweight superiority and avenged one of his three career losses Saturday in Germany.
Kitschko (49-3, 44 KOs) retained his International Boxing Federation title with a technical knockout over Lamon Brewster after Brewster (33-4) failed to answer the bell for the seventh round.
Three years ago, Brewster overcame a fourth-round knockdown and stopped Klitschko in five rounds. Klitschko has not lost since, winning seven bouts, including the IBF belt last year. For Klitschko, the victory over Brewster cleansed the bitter images of their first bout and enhanced Klitschko`s standing.
``My sports image was really devastated; I went to the bottom of boxing,`` Klitschko said of the first Brewster fight.
Klitschko`s transformation now has him closer to universal recognition -- a void in the division since Lennox Lewis retired in 2004.
``I will not give it up,`` Klitschko said. ``I am not where I want to be. I`m going to accomplish it.``
Klitschko looked the dominant champion in the rematch against Brewster. He peppered Brewster with repeated left jabs and right follow-up shots to the head.
Unable to cut Klitschko`s solid reach advantage with any counter- or power-punching opportunities, Brewster became an easy target. Brewster`s trainer, Buddy McGirt, felt his fighter had absorbed sufficient punishment and instructed referee Sam Williams to stop the bout.
It was later revealed by Klitschko`s trainer that the champion fought most of the bout with a broken left hand. He sustained a fracture after the first round, his trainer, Jamen Ali Bashir, said.