MOSCOW -- Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko gave Alexander Povetkin his first loss by earning a unanimous decision to keep his WBA and IBF belts on Saturday.
Klitschko knocked down Povetkin three times in the seventh round.
All three judges ruled 119-104 each for Klitschko (61-3, 52 KO), handing Povetkin his first defeat in 27 fights.
Klitschko stuck to his usual tactics, scoring frequently off his left jab and forcing Povetkin to attack, but the Russian rarely succeeded.
Klitschko first knocked Povetkin down with a combination 51 seconds into the seventh round. He floored Povetkin again with a left hook 35 seconds later, and again with 57 second left, but the Russian recovered.
"Povetkin is a fighter with high spirit," said Klitschko's elder brother, Vitali. "He fought till the end. I do not think the bout could have been finished earlier. If Wladimir could do it he would have certainly done it."
Povetkin became the mandatory challenger for Klitschko when he beat Hasim Rahman last September. Povetkin lost his regular WBA title, which he had defended four times before falling to Klitschko.
The latter gave up the belt in 2011 when he was elevated by the WBA to super champion after beating David Haye.