Alexander Povetkin Wins “Regular” WBA Strap - First Defence To Come Against Holyfield?

By James Slater: Alexander Povetkin won the “regular” version of the World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight belt last night, with a hard-fought 12-round UD over former WBA champ Ruslan Chagaev in Germany. The Russian fighter who is trained by Teddy Atlas won by scores of 117-113 twice and 116-112. Now 22-0(15), the former Olympian was fully deserving of his victory. Chagaev is now 27-2-1(17) and it is unclear where he will go now.

For Povetkin, there is the possibility of a big fight with world heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko - the man who of course holds the “real” WBA belt along with the Ring Magazine, IBF and WBO titles. However, trainer Atlas, who pulled his man out of a previous fight with “Dr. Steel Hammer” a few months ago, citing his man as “not yet ready,” doesn’t seem to keen on putting his fighter in with “Dr. Steel Hammer” next.

“I don’t want to think about Klitschko,” Teddy said. “I want to think about Povetkin and this title - we’ll think about Klitschko some other time.”

“Some other time?” It sounds to me as though Atlas wants his fighter to pick up yet more experience as he grows into a champion. Of course, not too many fans are willing to call Povetkin a “world” champion, despite his win last night. In an ideal world, Povetkin would indeed face Klitschko next, so that we would, for however long, have some stability in the heavyweight division as far as champions go. As long as the Klitschkos are around we are never going to have an undisputed king (seeing as the two will never box one another) - but the situation of having TWO WBA champs is utterly ridiculous.

This is the world we live in today, though, and boxing fans are getting more and more used to the craziness. And the word is, things could get even more crazy in the coming months. The strong rumour going around in Germany is that former four-time heavyweight ruler Evander Holyfield will be the next man to fight Povetkin. The 48-year-old, who was “very visible during fight week” according to, had already said he would be interested in facing last night’s winner.

The fans won’t like it, but “The Real Deal,” a man who has struggled recently with fellow veterans Frans Botha and Brian Nielsen, could be the man Povetkin makes his first title defence against.

Article posted on 28.08.2011

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