Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51 KO) seeks to defend his lineal heavyweight title against perhaps his toughest opponent to date.
Date: October 5, 2013 (Saturday)
So what time is Klitschko vs Povetkin?
Time: 3:30PM ET, 12:30PM PT, 17:00 BST (UK)
Location: Moscow, Russia
HBO (live in the U.S.)
Main Event PPV (Australia
PolSat Sport (Poland)
Titles: (Klitschko Defending)
- Lineal/RING Magazine Heavyweight Title
- WBA Super World Heavyweight Title
- WBO Heavyweight Title
- IBF Heavyweight Title
- International Boxing Organization Heavyweight Title
The only major world title Wladimir doesn't own is the WBC Heavyweight belt, currently held by his brother, Vitali. Povetkin holds a lesser version of the WBA title but that's merely a trinket because Wlad is carrier of that organization's 'Super' title.
But let's drop the confusion over titles...
Klitschko vs Povetkin, simply put, is for the real and legitimate heavyweight crown and is the biggest fight in that division in two years.
The fighters were originally scheduled to meet in December 2008, then later in summer 2009, but neither fight came to fruition as it's believed Povetkin's trainers were not ready to unleash their man against the tall and talented Ukrainian.
The Book on Povetkin
Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18 KO) has been rated in the top 5 in the division by RING Magazine and FightSaga for several years and may give Wladimir his stiffest challenge in a decade (Corrie Sanders March 2013). He certainly is - aside from David Haye, whom Wladimir defeated via a unanimous decision in 2011 - the champion's most formidable opponent in many years.
The soon-to-be 34 year Olympic Gold medal winner is one of the most accomplished amateur heavyweights ever. After winning the gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Povetkin finished his amateur career with a record of 125–7, with all losses avenged.
Due to his strong amateur pedigree, as well as his early pro accomplishments, Povetkin has been touted by some experts as a future force in the division. His resume includes a knockout victory over former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd and unanimous decision victories over one-time heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers and former U.S. Olympians Jason Estrada and Larry Donald.
The Chekhov, Russian born heavyweight is 6'2" with fairly good power in both hands and underrated hand-speed. He has a great sense of awareness in the ring, closes the distance well, applies intelligent pressure and is a fine combination puncher.
Povetkin will be the underdog but he's unbeaten in 26 bouts, possesses a glowing amateur pedigree and is easily head-and-shoulders above the high majority of Wladimir's opponents.
And while Lamon Brewster and Corrie Sanders KO'd Klitschko; even they didn't have the credentials of Povetkin.
Formerly trained by Alexander Zimin and Teddy Atlas, the 6'2" Povetkin was coached for a short time by hall of famer and former super lightweight world champion Kostya Tszyu. However, there are rumors he's dropped Tszyu in favor of Freddie Roach. So many trainers in such a short period is sometimes a recipe for disater.
A Big Opportunity for Wlad
Minus his brother whom he'll never fight, the lineal heavyweight champion has run out of opponents. Most of the guys in the top 12 have lost to Wlad or his brother - or their trainers don't think they're ready to challenge a Klitschko.
Tyson Fury talks a lot of smack but is he really ready? We'll see when he faces David Haye next month.
If Wladimir Klitschko defeats Povetkin impressively, historians may point to Klitschko vs Povetkin as a defining fight for the 37 year old champion. Certainly those advocating Wladimir Klitschko as an all-time great will use Klitschko vs Povetkin to defend their case for Wlad's place in history.
Not long before he died, Klitschko's trainer, Emanuel Steward stated:
"I hate to say it but Wladimir has cleaned out the division. He always stays in shape but it is getting hard to motivate him. I tell him that he can break Joe Louis's record of 25 title defenses. And I think he can."
Will Klitschko steamroll Povetkin like he's done so many opponents? Regardless, Alexander Povetkin is certainly more accomplished than any of the fighters Wladimir has faced in 64 bouts, sans perhaps one or two.
It's time for Klitschko-Povetkin. As a matter of fact, this bout is a bit overdue.
Klitschko vs Povetkin... The biggest heavyweight fight of 2013.
Klitschko vs Povetkin Stats & Facts
- Wladimir will have roughly a 6 inch reach advantage
- Ages: Klitschko - 37, Povetkin - 34
- Since his loss in 2004 to Lamon Brewster, Wladimir is 18-0, 14 KOs
- Povetkin is ranked No. 2 in the division by RING (Behind Vitali, No.1 and its Champion, Wladimir)
- Many believe WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck deserved the win over Povetkin in their 2012 bout; Povetkin had no answer for Huck's right hand and seemingly tired early
- Both men are Olympic Gold Medalists (Klitschko 1996, Povetkin 2004)
- Povetkin had a successful amateur kickboxing career that included winning World Junior championship in 1997, a World title in 1999 and a European professional kickboxing title in 2000.
- Although Wlad is criticized for not being exciting enough, he sports an amazing 81 KO ratio, one of the highest among champions today
- Overall, Wladimir Klitschko is the 4th longest-reigning heavyweight champion of all-time. Only Joe Louis, Larry Holmes, and Jack Dempsey have had longer title reigns.
- Klitschko has made 14 consecutive title defenses. Only Joe Louis and Larry Holmes have made more.
- Will Russian President Vladimir Putin, a big fan of boxing, be in attendance?