BERLIN -- So much for Wladimir Klitschko's status as a possible successor to Lennox Lewis. In just 207 seconds, the reputation of the 6-foot-7 Ukrainian took a big hit.
Corrie Sanders of South Africa scored a knockout 27 seconds into the second round Saturday night to win Klitschko's fringe WBO heavyweight title.
Now Klitschko's camp wants to fix the damage, and avenging this result might be the best answer.
''We will sit down in the next few days and consider when, how and if we can set up a rematch,'' Klitschko promoter Hans-Peter Kohl said.
Klitschko had just signed a nine-fight deal with HBO, hoping the exposure on the network would help set up big-money fights against the likes of Lewis or Mike Tyson. He seemed on course with knockouts of Ray Mercer and Jameel McCline last year, and some said he was the heavyweight to watch.
Sanders changed that thinking in a hurry. With 33 seconds left in the first round, he crashed a left to Klitschko's head, putting him on his back. Klitschko never recovered, reeling around the ring under blows from the 6-4 Sanders until he went down a fourth time.
''He caught me cold,'' Klitschko said. ''I left myself open when I jumped in, wanted to give him an answer and didn't cover up. That was my big mistake. I should have kept cool and tied him up.''
Sanders ran his record to 39-2 with 29 knockouts, making the Ukrainian the 20th opponent to last only one or two rounds. Before this victory, the 37-year-old South African had fought only three rounds since being knocked out by Hasim Rahman nearly three years ago.
George Foreman advised Klitschko to take a break, saying he wouldn't be the first fighter to come back from a bitter defeat and become champion. But Klitschko, who has been groomed for a title shot since winning a 1996 Olympic title at 19, dismissed the idea.
''I don't need a break and I don't need any build-up fights,'' he said. ''Best of all, I fight against Sanders immediately, then I have this behind me.''
Klitschko (40-2, 37 knockouts) had shown before this bout that he could punch. Now there are questions about his chin, and his will.
''Great champions like Ali and Lewis have lost and then won back their titles,'' he said. ''I, too, will use the chance for revenge and bring the title back into the family.''
Klitschko's brother, Vitali, is also a top heavyweight, the No. 1 contender in the WBA and WBC. He is also hoping for a title shot at Lewis.
The brothers spent much of their early careers in Germany, where they are hugely popular. They have been trying to build their fan base in America.
Whether they live up to their promise remains to be seen. They have, however, delivered on vows for revenge when one is beaten.
Ross Puritty handed Wladimir his only loss, and older brother Vitali later knocked him out. Chris Byrd beat Vitali, and the younger brother then beat him in a one-sided fight to take the WBO crown.
''I'm certain I will come back,'' Wladimir said. ''I'm certain I will be world champion.''
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