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Israeli heavyweight Roman Greenberg stepped up in class to beat Russian Alex Vassilev in Monte Carlo claiming the vacant International Boxing Organization Intercontinental heavyweight title.
The 23-year-old Greenberg won on a cuts stoppage and claimed the IBO belt would bring him closer to a world title fight in 2007.
Promoter Robert Waterman has already been aggressively talking about lining up headline heavyweights like Sam Peter, Shannon Briggs or Danny Williams for Greenberg's next fight.
Greenberg was always in control of the fight and in the sixth round an arching right cross sliced open the skin over Vassilev's left eye and the ringside doctor stopped the fight.
Vassilev (16-14-1, 8 KOs) took a year off after winning the Pan-Asian Boxing Association heavyweight title in March 2003 and hasn't won a fight since. The 33-year-old has been in the ring with some top caliber competition, including British favorite Herbie Hide, Nigerian Henry Akinwande and Argentinian Fabio Eduardo Moli, but always came up on the losing end.
The fight was Greenberg's first scheduled 12-rounder. In his last time out, Greenberg took a 10-round decision over American Kendrick Releford in December. The fight was his second in Monaco, after taking an eight-round decision over Mamadou Sacko of Mali last July.
Meanwhile, in Atlantic City, Ukrainian-born, Brooklyn-raised light welterweight Dmitriy Salita rallied from a pair of knockdowns to earn a draw against Mexican Ramon Montano, on the undercard of the WBC heavyweight title bout between Hasim Rahman and James Toney.
Salita, who holds the North American Boxing Association light welterweight title, fought on a Saturday night for the first time since May 2004.
The Chabadnik has been headlining the New York-based Broadway boxing series, in part because he didn't have a big enough profile to guarantee that his Saturday fights would take place late enough after Shabbat for him to prepare. Now well-known in boxing circles, Salita was a welcome addition to the Atlantic City card.
His opponent, the 23-year-old Montano, was fighting for the third time in less than two months, but against by far his toughest competition ever.