This Friday former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin takes on former world title contender Manuel Charr for the vacant WBC international heavyweight championship at Luzhniki-Arena in Moscow.
It will be Povetkin's first fight since his sole career loss to supreme unified titlist Wladimir Klitschko last October. Both men know each other very well from their time as training partners when they were both under contract with German promotional powerhouse Sauerland Event.
When they met for the first time in years at the official press conference in Moscow, both Charr and Povetkin showed great respect for their opponent. At the same time both men are very confident that they will win the heavyweight clash on Friday night.
"Alexander Povetkin will not stop me on my way to become heavyweight champion of the world", said "Diamond Boy" Manuel Charr. "I want to thank him, his team and especially promoter Andrey Rabinsky for making this special fight possible.
"Not many guys have the guts to fight me. Povetkin doesn't look scared right now - but he will regret inviting me to Moscow. I will beat him and continue my way to the top of the division."
Answered Povetkin, "You have to respect Manuel Charr for accepting the challenge and coming to Moscow. He is a good fighter and shows great heart in returning to the place where he lost to Vitali Klitschko.
"But he will have no chance because of the simple fact that I am better than him. This is a big fight but it will only be a stepping stone for me to get to even bigger bouts. I want to become world champion again."
The winner of the bout will line up along with a lot of great names who want to get their hands on newly crowned WBC champion Bermane Stiverne such as mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder, Bryant Jennings, Mike Perez, Tony Thompson, Carlos Takam and - last but surely not least - Wladimir Klitschko, who just recently said that he would prefer a unification bout against Stiverne instead of doing his next mandatory against Kubrat Pulev.
A great former champion in attendance in Moscow and at the press conference is Evander Holyfield, who will watch the fight ringside. "I am sure that this will be a great fight", said the "Real Deal".
"It is my impression that the heavyweight division is getting better and more interesting again with fresh blood and young guys accepting big fights. Stiverne vs. Arreola was a good start. I believe Charr vs. Povetkin may even be a better fight. It's good to see guys stepping up for the challenge."