London, Apr 4 (ANI): WBA heavyweight champion David Haye retained his title by beating American challenger John Ruiz when fight was stopped after nine dominant rounds here at the Manchester's MEN Arena.
Haye had Ruiz down four times before the fight was stopped in the ninth round by the referee Guillermo Perez, as Miguel Diaz in the American's corner waved a white towel over the ropes.
It was only the second time in an 18-year, 54-fight career that Ruiz had been stopped.
But Haye insisted he could have had the job done even earlier as he celebrated the first defence of the title he snatched from giant Nikolai Valuev in November 2009.
Lapping up the cheers from a sell-out 20,000 crowd, Haye said: "All credit to John Ruiz - he was durable - but at no stage during that fight did I feel like I was losing."
"I could have got him out in the first round if I'd taken my time. I kept getting through with hard punches but he wouldn't go down and I was getting annoyed," News of the World quoted Haye, as saying.
"It made me change tactics for a couple of rounds and I lost my way a bit before getting back on the job. But I'm over the moon. Really happy with it. I felt was really sharp. There were a load of fans here. The crowd has been absolutely electric for me," he said.
Haye promised an electric performance and he delivered one of the best world title fights seen in the country for some years as he sent Ruiz crashing down to the canvas four times.
Haye's power was amazing, but he also flitted with danger several times and often fought on instinct in his first world title defence. (ANI)