Boxing: Nigerian Samuel Peter KOs Maskaev to win WBC title

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Man holding a flag of Nigeria
Man holding a flag of Nigeria

Nigeria’s Samuel Peter Saturday night stopped Oleg Maskaev in the sixth round to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title at the Plaza De Toros in Cancun, Mexico.

Living up to his nickname – The Nigerian Nightmare – Peter was leading on all the judges’ cards when referee Guadelupe Garcia stopped the fight with four seconds to go in the sixth round.

The decision to stop the fight followed a sustained barrage of punches by the 27-year-old Peter (30-1, 23 KOs).

It was the first world heavyweight title for a Nigerian boxer, which explained why the fight had generated so much interest in Nigeria since last year, when Peter was originally scheduled to fight Maskaev (34-6, 26 KOs) in a mandatory challenge for the WBC title.

The WBC last year named Peter the interim champion after Maskaev pulled out of their 6 Oct 2007 fight due to a back injury.

The Nigerian then defeated American Jameel McCline, who replaced the Kazakhstan-born Maskaev on the same date, despite being knocked down three times in the first three rounds.

Maskaev, 39, won the WBC title in August 2006 when he knocked out Hasim Rahman in the 12th round.

Peter, who is based in Las Vegas, US, is next expected to fight Vitali Klitschko before a possible shot at another Klitschko, Wladimir.

Last month, Wladimir unified the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) titles by beating Sultan Ibragimov.

Peter boasted after the fight: “I’m the best heavyweight in the world. I’m undisputed. I can beat anyone. All of them are going down.”

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