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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Knocked the f%�

Posted on Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 2:54 PM

Obviously inspired by the above video, Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko dropped Cleveland's Ray Austin without even breaking a sweat in last weekend's heavyweight title bout, denying Cleveland its first sports championship since a guy named Jim won the World Tire-Changing Title back in '88. You can watch the fight's second and final round here; pay attention to Klitschko's right hand, which he literally doesn't use the entire time. To skip to Austin's Rudy Tomjanovich impression, fast forward to the 1:10 mark. It's no surprise Austin got stomped. Dan Rafael, a longtime boxing writer who now covers the sport for ESPN.com, has been saying for months that Austin's landing a title fight was a joke. And when I called Rafael this week to get his thoughts on the fight, he was no less disgusted: "He didn't belong ranked No. 1. He didn't belong ranked number 20." He writes the same thing in his post-fight scorecard: It's not Klitschko's fault that an unqualified joke such as Austin was forced down his throat by the IBF, which somehow made him the world's No. 1 contender and mandated that if Klitschko didn't fight Austin, he would be stripped of his title. In the non-bizarro world, Austin is not even a top 20 heavyweight, much less No. 1. Klitschko showed just why, dusting Don King's pawn with ease. But Austin did make some decent scratch. The Austin Camp pocketed about $2 million, Rafael says. King took $1 million, and Austin paid his management team close to $400,000, leaving the fighter with $600,000. It'll buy big Ray a lot of cheesecakes. — Joe P. Tone

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