Self-taught Arslan beats up on Wilson to defend cruiserweight title

5/4/2008 - Boxing

STUTTGART, Germany -- Firat Arslan earned a convincing decision against American Darnell Wilson in the first defense of his WBA cruiserweight title on Saturday.

The German pressed the fight from the opening seconds, hitting Wilson with regularity from the second round when a left hook sent the American to the ropes.

All three judges score the fight 117-111.

The best round for Wilson (23-7-3, 20 KOs) was the seventh when he picked up the pace, catching the German several times and getting him to back off for a while.

"I was worried about a lucky punch until the last. He hit hard," Arslan said. "I wanted to pressure him so hard he couldn't use his power."

Arslan (29-3-1, 18 KOs) is a 37-year-old who won the title in November against Virgil Hill. Self-taught, he didn't have a trainer and manager until his past six fights.

Wilson was jarred by a hard left in the 10th round, but has never been dropped to the canvas. Arslan also took some good shots, but also has never gone down.

"I fought my heart out," Wilson said. "I came in feeling confident tonight, but he was better."