Will it be Brock, Povetkin or Chambers?

By Adrian Saba: In his last victory against Chris Byrd, Alexander Povetkin learned two things that he didn’t know: he fought more than ten rounds and he fought most of the fight with a cut above his eye, which always can be problematic. But he handled the situation pretty well and, for the first time, he defeated a Ring Top 10 contender and one of the most relevant and significant heavyweight boxers of the last generation –Byrd–..

(Of course, the win over Larry Donald in his 13th fight is also notable). Rapid Fire deserves some respect, he was one of the important heavyweights during the Lewis era and in the post-Lewis era, during his IBF reign; Byrd is definitely one of the most important heavyweights of the last years, with Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko, Hasim Rahman, etc.

Next week, Povetkin and all of us will discover who the winner of the Brock-Chambers duel is. Then, the Russian will fight him. That will happen in February or March, I estimate. Then, the winner of the International Boxing Federation tournament will get a (well deserved) title shot against Wladimir Klitschko, probably in mid-2008 or maybe a little bit earlier.

If Brock wins the tournament, which I doubt, should he bother in fighting Wladimir Klitschko again? Let’s remember their last fight, the brutal KO. A rematch between Brock and Klitschko would be pointless, I think Brock is a Top10 contender and can easily fight for another belt. What would happen if Chambers wins the tournament and fights Klitschko? It would be a fresh defence against a man that would be a new contender, so we shouldn’t disapprove it. Chambers, as we know, as we should know, doesn’t hit hard enough to cause problems to Wlad’s jaw. Eddie is fast, as his nickname suggests, but he doesn’t punch hard. He is a boxer with the proper technique, though. But Wladimir Klitschko is much better in the technical aspect, he is enormously talented. And what would happen in Klitschko-Povetkin? Sasha punches hard, can brawl, has speed, technique, fundamentals, but still needs more experience and to polish and refine his defence. Not to mention he would be comparatively small for Klitschko. I predict a knockout win for the current Champion. Povetkin, in my opinion, is popular and marketable, and should negotiate a fight against another titleholder. A fight against Maskaev or Peter, Ibragimov (although he could end up fighting Klitschko) or against Chagaev –he can win those fights– and get a few more wins in his record before challenging Klitschko.

Note: If Klitschko, as rumoured and expected, ends up fighting in February against Sultan Ibragimov, who would be the winner’s next rival…WBO mandatory challenger Tony Thompson or the International Boxing Federation tournament champ? In that case, the sanctioning bodies should make an exception and give more time to fulfil the mandatory defences.

Article posted on 28.10.2007

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