ROME: Italian veteran Gaicobbe Fragomeni claimed the world title for the first time at the age of 39 after beating Czech Rudolf Kraj for the vacant WBC cruiserweight belt on Friday in Milan.

Fashion mogul Giorgio Armani and 'Marvellous' Marvin Hagler were among a crowd of 3,500 people as the local hero won on points.

The fight was stopped after eight rounds of the scheduled 12 due to a small cut suffered by Fragomeni over his right eye for what the referee deemed was a head-butt.

The result went to the scorecards and with the Italian ahead 77-74 on all three cards, he was awarded the belt.

The WBC belt had been left vacant by former undisputed cruiserweight champion David Haye of Britain, who has stepped up to heavyweight and will tackle American Monte Barrett next month.

Fragomeni's record is now 26 wins, 10 inside the distance, and one defeat, a nine round stoppage by Haye two years ago.