Wladimir Klitschko easily defended his belt(s) and added Ibragimov's to his collection Saturday, winning the vast majority of rounds and outscoring his opponent 119-110, 117-111, 118-110 on the official cards.
Most observers, including the crowd at Madison Square Garden, found the fight to be rather dull, as Klitschko used his reach advantage to paw away Ibragimov's attempts to close and attack. Ibragimov tried several tactics, including punching from the clinch, attempting wild looping shots, and slightly low blows, and at one point wrestled the larger Klitschko to the canvas as the two became entangled. Still, he had little success in hitting Klitschko, let alone hurting him.
He did, however, take some damage from Klitschko's relentless jab, though there wasn't enough action in the fight to put him in danger of a KO or even a TKO. The closest moment was in the 9th round when Klitschko pummelled Ibragimov with four straight shots, causing him to crouch by the ropes and almost get knocked through them a lá Sergei Lyakhovich against Shannon Briggs. But Ibragimov didn't touch the canvas and no knockdown occurred. Afterward, he seemed mostly unfazed by the barrage, which was probably the hardest of the night. Ibragimov also fell in the previous (8th) round, but it was ruled a push and again was in no danger.
Klitschko's corner urged him to attempt the knockout in the last round, though this would seem to be a departure from his game plan, and would provide Ibragimov the only possibility of a miracle KO himself. Still, Wlad upped his workrate slightly in the 12th, but Ibragimov was nowhere close to being set up for the knockout. He was, however, too tired by this time to launch any spirited effort of his own, and the fight ended like it had commenced the entire night, with Klitscko in control and in no danger.
Ask about the unification effort after the fight, Klitschko said he was just focused on winning fights, and even said that his brother Vitali had dibbs on the Maskaev-Peter winner, raising the possibility of the two brothers ruling the heavyweight class without full unification.
The fight ended just as I'd expected, a unanimous Klitschko victory. But there was a lot less action than I thought, and both fighters left the ring in quite a bit better shape than I'd figured, with Klitschko almost untouched and Ibragimov bumped around a bit but neither exhausted nor cut badly. Wladimir's complete concentration on defense didn't allow Ibragimov any of the interior success I'd imagined, nor with it the counter-punishment that he would take as a result. In short, the fight was tactical, and Klitschko controlled the action to such a degree that little happened.
Ibragimov took his first loss, dropping to 22-1-1, while Klitschko got his 50th victory to go with only three losses.