Undefeated WBO NABO heavyweight champion Ed “The Hammer” Mahone (21-0-2) challenged undefeated WBO heavyweight champion of the world Vitali “Ironfist” Klitschko (25-0) for the WBO heavyweight title.

Date: 9 October 1999
Venue: Arena Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany
Referee: Rudy Battle
1990s Title Fight #53 – WBO Title Fight #17
WBO Defence #1 for Vitali

Vitali followed up his defeat of Herbie Hide with a first title defence in his adopted home country. Travelling to meet him there was Mahone, who had never previously fought outside the US and had assembled the standard run of wins over mediocre opponents. He had won the WBO’s North American belt in February 1998 against Cody Koch, who was well ahead on the cards when Mahone knocked him out in the tenth round. Mahone had defended the title five times, with four wins and a technical decision draw against Albert Williams – the most notable victory of this run was over Daniel Eduardo Neto who had challenged Francesco Damiani for the WBO belt in 1989.

But this success hardly screamed credible challenger for European boxing’s new star, and Vitali proceeded to dominate the fight. Only limited footage of this fight survives online, but after two rounds of Vitali dominating with his size, reach and power advantage, Mahone was eventually knocked down twice by brutal combinations in the third, after which Rudy Battle decided to end the fight.

Mahone’s career collapsed after the defeat. Having amassed 21 wins in his first 23 fights without defeat, he won just three more fights over the next decade, with defeats to the likes of Henry Akinwande, Eddie Chambers and Alexander Povetkin. He finished with a 24-10-2 record.

Winner, and still heavyweight champion of the world: Vitali Klitschko (by TKO R3)