BERLIN (AP) Wladimir Klitschko stopped former sparring partner Tony Thompson with a right hand in the 11th round Saturday to defend his heavyweight title.
Klitschko (51-3, 45 knockouts) turned boos to cheers as the American went to the canvas 1:38 into the round. He redeemed himself after an ugly 10th round in which he pushed Thompson to the canvas and fell upon him.
Klitschko won his ninth straight bout in a tougher-than-expected fight, surviving a second-round head butt that left both fighters with bleeding right eye.
The big Ukrainian added the WBO title to the IBF belt he won in February with a 12-round decision against Sultan Ibragimov the division's first unification fight in nine years.
Klitschko's dominated the Russian in a dull fight at Madison Square Garden, but this time he threw his hard right from the start in a bout broadcast to more than a 100 countries.
After rocking Thompson in the sixth with two good rights to take control of the fight, he appeared to tire until the 11th round shot led 15,000 to chant "Klitschko, Klitschko" again.
Thompson (31-2, 19 KOs) was a WBO mandatory fight for Klitschko. He served as Klitschko's sparring partner before one of the Ukrainian's worst losses, a two-round stoppage by Corrie Sanders in 2003.
Thompson's unbeaten streak dating back to 2000 was snapped. Eric Kirkland handed him a four-round loss in just his fifth fight as a pro.
Klitschko, who started his career in Hamburg, fought in the city for the first time in eight years. He drew a sellout crowd of 15,000.
On the undercard, American Jonathan Banks (19-0-0, 14 knockouts) won a decision against Italy's Vincenzo Rossitto (36-5-4, 22 knockouts) to claim the vacant IBO cruiserweight title.
Brazilian woman wins Indy Lights race
GLADEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Ana Beatriz of Brazil became the first woman to win on the Firestone Indy Lights Series, taking the rain-delayed Sunbelt Rentals 100 on Saturday at the Nashville Superspeedway.
Beatriz is one of five women who have taken part in the series, that started in 2002, to help develop drivers for the Indy Racing League's IndyCar series. She had finished as high as third three times previously this year.
She started on the front row beside James Davison, the pole-sitter and her Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate, after a thunderstorm forced a nearly two-hour delay. But Beatriz dipped inside Davison going into Turn 3 on lap 33 and took the lead. Beatriz held onto that for the rest of the 77-lap, 100-mile race, winning by 1.2392 seconds ahead of Bobby Wilson.
"Our car was the best one today, and we did it," Beatriz said.
Mishael Abbott, Sarah McCune, Veronica McCann and Cyndie Allerman also had competed on this level. Beatriz said she thought she would prevail in St. Petersburg.
"I'm really, really happy to win as a driver, a driver that came from Brazil as a rookie in the series and really happy to be a winner as a driver," she said. "I don't know about gender."
Red Sox shortstop put on disabled list
BOSTON (AP) The Boston Red Sox placed shortstop Julio Lugo on the 15-day disabled list because of a severely strained left quadriceps muscle on Saturday.
Manager Terry Francona said an MRI showed the injury could keep Lugo out for a month to six weeks.
"To put timetables is pretty hard, but ... he got it pretty good," Francona said.
Lugo was injured Friday night while running out an infield single in the ninth inning of Boston's 7-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Lugo began to limp as he approached first base, then dropped to ground shortly after hitting the bag.
The Red Sox on Saturday called up shortstop Jed Lowrie from Pawtucket to replace Lugo. Lowrie was in the lineup for Saturday's game with Baltimore. Francona said veteran back-up Alex Cora will start today's finale before the All-Star break and the two will split playing time until Lugo returns.
Lowrie hit .310 with a homer and seven RBIs in 17 games with Boston earlier this season. A switch-hitter, he was batting .268 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 53 games with Pawtucket.
Ortiz plans to return July 25 vs. Yankees
BOSTON (AP) Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, on the disabled list since May 31 with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, is expected to return to Boston's lineup on July 25 for the opener of a series against the New York Yankees.
"I feel good," Ortiz said after hitting off a pitching machine on Saturday. "I was acting like I normally do: locating, check swing, swing and a miss stuff like that. Everything was fine. That's all I need. Make sure there's no pain when I'm doing that."
Manager Terry Francona said Ortiz looked good during batting practice Friday with the pitching machine set at high speed, prompting the team to schedule a six-game rehabilitation stint in the minor leagues. Ortiz will start with three games in Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, followed by three games in Double-A Portland.
"If everything is going OK, we can turn him loose," Francona said. "Three days in Pawtucket, a down day, then maybe three more days in Double-A where he didn't have to travel, have a day off in between, then meet us when we come back from that road trip. That's not etched in stone, but that's what we're looking at."
If all goes well, Ortiz will be back for the weekend series against New York at Fenway Park.
Ortiz is batting .252 with 13 homers and 43 RBIs in 54 games this season.
"Sometimes I get a little sore, but it's not the sore that bothers me to play," Ortiz said. "Hopefully when we start facing speed and things like that, I'll feel the same way I feel when I'm hitting."