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Maskaev keeps his WBC heavy title

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MOSCOW, Russia -- Russia's Oleg Maskaev retained his World Boxing Council heavyweight crown on Sunday with a unanimous points decision over Ugandan challenger Peter Okhello in Moscow.

Maskaev, 37, dominated for much of the fight at the Olympic arena but failed to land a knockout blow despite throwing a series of powerful punches in the last three rounds.

The U.S.-based Maskaev, who was granted Russian citizenship by a special decree from President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, improved his record to 34 victories against five defeats, while 34-year-old Okhello fell to 18-5.

Maskaev, who was born to Russian parents in Kazakhstan, won the WBC belt with a 12th-round victory over Hasim Rahman in Las Vegas in August.

Jermain Taylor retained his unified middleweight crown with a unanimous decision over Uganda-born Kassim Ouma in North Little Rock, Arkansas on Saturday, the undefeated champion easing to a routine victory.

Taylor (26-0-1, 17 KOs) rebounded from a contentious draw against Ronald 'Winky' Wright in June, which many observers felt he lost, to dominate the 12-round bout against the former light-middleweight champion.

The judges scored the contest 118-110, 117-111 and 115-113 in favor of Taylor, who retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) titles.

It was the fourth straight bout to go the distance for the 28-year-old, who could not finish off his smaller opponent despite the encouragement of a hometown crowd.

Taylor has outpointed Bernard Hopkins twice in ascending to the middleweight title and survived a bruising battle against Wright, but there was little doubt he was going to defeat Ouma.

Ouma (25-3-1, 15 KOs), who defected to the U.S. while on an amateur boxing trip in 1998, opened a cut over Taylor's left eye in the fifth round, but it was not severe enough to give the challenger a chance to get back into the fight.


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Maskaev has been granted Russian citizenship by president Putin.

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