Boxing


Alexander Povetkin - Is He Really Ready For Klitschko?

Alexander Povetkin20.07.08 - by James Slater: Unbeaten IBF mandatory contender at heavyweight, Alexander Povetkin looks like being the next challenger for IBF and WBO champion Wladmir Klitschko. Annoyed he had to watch Tony Thompson fight Klitschko first, the 28-year-old Russian contender demanded he get next crack at "Dr Steel Hammer."

Wladimir shows no signs at all of not wanting the fight, desiring very much to keep his IBF belt and then hoping to go on and unify the others. But is Povetkin even a fighter who is ready to take on Klitschko? Is the man who has only 16 pro wins under his belt ready, or is he rushing things? Sure, Povetkin is the IBF mandatory and he earned the distinction by emerging triumphant in the elimination tourney that also featured Chris Byrd, Calvin Brock and Eddie Chambers - but this doesn't mean he's ready for Klitschko, does it?

Povetkin's resume shows you he has not yet met a single big-puncher. Facing mostly cuties as he's stepped up in competition - see Chambers, Byrd and before that Larry Donald - Povetkin would have been well served if he were working his way towards challenging a slick heavyweight champion, as opposed to a big, stiff-punching monster like Klitschko. Yes, a fighter can only pick and choose so much when it comes to facing certain styles of opponents, but things would be a lot better for Povetkin if he'd at least fought a guy who fights in a somewhat similar way to the champ from The Ukraine.

We know Povetkin can overwhelm relatively small, tricky and not too hard-hitting heavyweights, but can he take a huge heavyweight's shot and can he hold his own with the inside stuff when in with a really big guy? We will find out in the Klitschko fight, but will Povetkin be found out due to meeting the elite too soon in his career? Maybe Povetkin is as good now as he ever will be, and the time is right for him to be taking his big chance. After all, despite his lack of numbers as a pro, the Russian star achieved much and was a very experienced amateur. But has fate served to provide Povetkin with the totally wrong pre-title fight style of opposition?

The way Povetkin fights, he will likely attempt to take the fight to Klitschko and force him to trade and hope he can win in a battle. Pressure fighting having worked for him thus far, Povetkin will see no reason not to try and take the same approach with the heavyweight champion. However, in being a relatively small heavyweight( at least compared to Klitschko) at 6'2" and approx 225-pounds, and having fought a good share of men even smaller then he, will the challenger find it's a whole different story against the mammoth Klitschko?

I really feel Povetkin could badly use a couple more fights - against big and physical heavyweights as opposed to small and crafty ones - before being as prepared as he needs to be for a fight with Klitschko. Sometimes a fighter only gets one shot at the title - he had better make sure he's as ready as he can be going into that one shot.

Article posted on 21.07.2008



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