Undefeated Alexander Povetkin of Russia retained his WBA heavyweight title with a second-round technical knockout of American challenger Hasim Rahman on Saturday.
After a cagey first round, Povetkin exploded into life in the next, delivering a series of blows to which the 39-year-old former WBC, IBF and IBO champion had no response.
Referee Gustavo Padilla of Panama had no option but to call it off 1 minute, 36 seconds into the round with Povetkin able to pick his shots at will.
''I prepared myself well. It's a pity I couldn't show it for that long,'' said the 33-year-old Povetkin, who improved to 25-0 (17 KOs).
Rahman dropped to 50-8-2 (41 KOs) after his first bout since June 2011.
The fight was Povetkin's third defense of the WBA title he earned by beating Ruslan Chagaev on points in August 2011. The belt was vacated by Wladimir Klitschko when the Ukrainian was elevated to ''super champion'' by the WBA after his win over David Haye.
Povetkin becomes the mandatory challenger for Klitschko and the Russian said he was looking forward to the bout.
''It will certainly be an interesting fight, because ultimately he is the strongest boxer,'' Povetkin said.