Today it has been announced that the WBA Super, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight Champion of the World Wladimir Klitschko will finally face WBA Regular champion and long time mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in Moscow on the 5th October.
The fight will pitch the 37 year old Klitschko, who will be in his 64th professional fight in his much decorated career, against a fellow Olympic gold medallist in the shape of the Russian Povetkin, who clinched gold at the Athens Olympics back in 2004 as a Super Heavyweight, the division which Klitschko clinched at the Atlanta Olympics eight years prior.
It shall be Wladimir’s 15th title defence in his current reign as World Champion after defeating former foe Chris Byrd with a seventh round knockout to win the IBF and IBO titles and his 24th world title fight.
Povetkin has also faced the two-time former Heavyweight champion Byrd, defeating him in a points decision in a IBF Heavyweight elimination tournament.
Other common opponents that both men fought are Eddie Chambers, who Wladimir defeated with a 12th round knockout with just five seconds of the contest remaining March 2010, while Povetkin needed all 12 rounds to defeat Chambers in the same IBF elimination tournament that he defeated Chris Byrd.
Both men have also knocked out the former undisputed Heavyweight champion of the world Hasim Rahman. Wladimir needed seven rounds in a dominant performance against the ageing Rahman in 2008, while Povetkin needed just two rounds to batter the shell of Rahman into what appears retirement.
Both men also have victories over former WBA titleholder Ruslan Chagaev of Uzbekistan. Wladimir dominated Chagaev for nine rounds before Chagaev was pulled out of the contest, while Povetkin again needed all 12 rounds to defeat the awkward Chagaev in March 2011 in Thurlingen, Germany.
In his most recent title defence against the overmatched and seemingly limited Andrzej Wawyrzyk of Poland, Povetkin controlled the fight from the centre of the ring, keeping Wawyrzyk on the back foot taking control of the fight with his work rate and more accurate punching.
Povetkin kept Wawyrszk with his back on the ropes and eventually scored the knockdown in the second round to go up 20-17 on this writer’s scorecard.
Eventually, Povetkin went into the third round, stepped up the pressure, and scored the stoppage win to retain his title.
As for his challenge of Wladimir, it is unlikely that he will be able to achieve that kind of dominance, as Wladimir himself will look to take the centre of the ring and work off that long and powerful left jab to set up his left hook and straight right hand.
This means Povetkin must look to slip to get inside as he will have a disadvantage of four inches and height and six in reach and look to work Wladimir’s body to bring down the high guard to land a shot on Wladimir’s chin.
While Povetkin will look to take advantage of Wladimir’s age etc, Wladimir is a fighter who has not been in a tough fight since the first one with the Nigerian Samuel Peter, and that freshness and superior championship experience will almost certainly see him extend his reign and defeat a game Povetkin.