Klitschko KO's Brock in the 7th

NEW YORK -- Wladimir Klitschko seemed intent on defending his title with one hand, the left. He jabbed and jabbed and occasionally hooked Calvin Brock. Then the IBF champion was cut by an inadvertent head butt, and the blood trickling down the left side of his face told him it was time to throw the right. When that hand entered the fight, it was time for Brock to leave it.

Klitschko stunned Brock with a sharp left, then finished him off with a thunderous right late in the seventh round Saturday night.

"I should have tried that earlier, but it took me time to get my distance and rhythm," Klitschko said. "He was a good defensive fighter."

Klitschko kept the right in reserve as he piled up points with his jab. But he found the range with the right midway in the bout, and Brock had no chance when Klitschko opened up the challenger's defense with another quick left. The big right immediately followed and Brock fell face-down to the canvas.

He got up at eight, but was wobbly and referee Wayne Kelly stopped it at 2:10.

"I knew it was over there," Klitschko said. "It was easy to hit him with the right hand there."

Klitschko, in his first defense of the crown he won from Chris Byrd in April, was cut over the left eye in the sixth. Wary of the cut getting worse, he unloaded several massive punches through the sixth and seventh rounds.

Did he feel any urgency because of the cut?

"Yes," the champion said. "But I was leading at that time."

The native of Kazakhstan, who represents Ukraine, improved to 47-3 with his 42nd knockout. Brock, a 2000 U.S. Olympian, lost for the first time in 30 bouts.

"I saw the punch coming, but I couldn't react fast enough," Brock said. "He had a better jab than I thought he did. He was very strong."

Klitschko's brother, Vitali, now retired, once held the WBC crown and was considered the better of the two fighters. But Wladimir showed Saturday why he generally is looked upon as the best of the four heavyweight champions.

Klitschko climbed the ropes in each corner after the win and saluted the fans, then got serious about his future.

"I want to fight any titleholder, anyone who has a belt," he said.