Heavyweight hopeful Alexander Povetkin continued down the path toward a world title shot last night by handling the challenge posed by American visitor Jason Estrada at Burg-Waechter Castello in Dusseldorf.
The early rounds were fairly even as the pair mostly jabbed and studied but each enjoyed sporadic success with hard single shots on occasion.
The middle rounds got rougher as Povetkin and Estrada hammered away at each other during the constant clinching. As Povetkin began to get more aggressive, he succeeded in breaking through Estrada's defense but was also getting picked off cleanly by the American on many occasions.
But Estrada's shots didn't have enough on them to dissuade the Povetkin from continuing to attack and by the seventh, Estrada was beginning to lose focus.
Wrestling with the bigger, stronger Povetkin during clinches and absorbing the Russian's constant cuffing shots during the messy fighting at close quarters had begun to take its tool by the eighth as Estrada was taking heavy punishment.
Povetkin stepped off the gas a bit in the ninth but tried for the knockout during the tenth and final round. A tired Estrada could no longer keep pace as Povetkin's rights and lefts hit home, forcing the American either onto the ropes or desperately trying to clinch.
Estrada was hurt in the tenth but never went down and managed to survive only to lose a 99-94, 98-92 and 97-93 unanimous decision.
Povetkin improves to 17-0 (12), while Estrada drops to 15-2 (3).
European Union Heavyweight titlist Francesco Pianeta, 18-0-1 (11), was held to a draw by veteran Albert Sosnowski, 44-2-1 (27), after twelve close rounds.
Flyweight Nadia Raoui, 10-0-1 (3), won a ten rounder on points against Maria Rosa Tabbuso, 12-4-2 (3), for the Interim WIBA title.
Cruiserweight prospect Alexander Frenkel, 16-0 (12), stopped blown up super middle Ruben Groenwwald, 22-7-3 (9), in the fifth.