Vitali Klitschko stops French Champion
(Hamburg, 20 February 1999)
In front of 7,000 spectators in the sold out Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in
Hamburg European heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko stopped the French champion Ismael Youla in the second round.
Before the eyes of WBO heavyweight champion Herbie Hide, who attended the
fight at ringside, Klitschko hurt Youla with a left-right combination and another left hand to the head midway through round two. Rocked by those punches Youla stumbled backwards and was knocked down and through the ropes by another
combination of the undefeated 6 feet 8 Ukrainian. The referee didn't bother to
count and called a halt to the bout at 1:30 into the second round.
It was the second successful defense of Klitschko, who won the vacant title
with a second round knockout over Mario Schiesser in October and defended it
against the Italian champion Francesco Spinelli in December with a KO in the
Vitali Klitschko improved to 24-0 (24 KO´s), whereas Youla dropped to
11-3 (7 KO´s).
The main event in the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle was canceled, when WBC Cruiserweight champion Juan Carlos Gomez had to pull out with
high temperature and a diagnosed influencial infection. His title defense against Marcelo Dominguez is now scheduled for 13 March in Lübeck.
"I was not hit by a single punch", Klitschko commented after the
fight. "Youla was a good opponent with a hard punch. But I gave him no
chance to hit me."
Vitali Klitschko is ranked number 1 by the WBO and thus the mandatory challenger of champion Herbie Hide.
"Klitschko is not mobile enough and I'm faster than him", Hide
commented afterwards. "I will stop Klitschko in the fifth round."
Some observers took it as a sign of respect that the high-handed Hide was
predicting a round as late as the fifth. Usualy the cocky Brit is quick in predicting first or second round KO´s.
The fight between Vitali Klitschko and Herbie Hide is tentatively scheduled
"I have the confirmation now that Vitali is ready for a fight against
Herbie Hide", promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl stated. "As soon as we find
a suitable arena we will promote this fight in Germany."