Povetkin: Who Should He Fight Next - Let The Fans Speak

By James Slater: Although you will be hard pressed to find too many fight fans who feel unbeaten Russian star Alexander Povetkin is in any way a “real” world heavyweight champion, it has to be agreed how the 32-year-old is something of a hot commodity right now. Young (32), well looked after (trained by Teddy Atlas) and capable of throwing a lot of leather (Povetkin had good combination punching), the former Olympian also has a number of possibilities for his next high profile fight - his first defence, if you will, of the “regular” WBA bauble he won this past Saturday.

Unfortunately as we know, the fans - the bread and butter for any fighter, for the sport in general and for all the promoters involved - hardly, if ever, get the chance to rule over which guy a certain fighter will face next. But, just in case public opinion does indeed make a little difference to the powers that be, fans do speak their minds. And who would the people who are the very backbone of the sport of boxing wish to see Povetkin fight next?

There are three names that have surfaced since (and even before) Povetkin’s win over Ruslan Chagaev: Evander Holyfield, David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko.

It’s almost a certainty that the new “regular” WBA champ will not climb into a ring with “Dr. Steel Hammer” next. Not only would he lose and lose badly, Povetkin cannot be blamed for wanting to make some cash with a voluntary first defence instead. That leaves “The Real Deal” and “The Hayemaker” as far as this article goes.

It’s no secret that 48-year-old Holyfield was at the fight in Germany on Saturday and that he was very visible in being so. The rumours are very strong in suggesting the veteran, former four-time king will indeed be Povetkin’s first challenger. But will the fans be in any way happy if this match-up gets the green light? wouldn’t a Povetkin-Haye fight prove far more interesting?

Haye, the former WBA ruler, said pre-fight that he would be rooting for Povetkin. Now that he’s won, will Haye look to postpone his October 13th retirement plan in order to get a shot at the “regular” version of his old belt; the one he lost last month to the mighty Wladimir Klitschko? It’s a possibility, considering Haye’s connections with Sauerland Promotions.

The fans may not particularly like or admire Haye (at least most of the fans on this web site, judging by the comments they leave on any Haye related articles, come across as anything but members of Haye’s fan club!), but they would, I think, pay to see him in there with Povetkin. No, in terms of who the world champion is, it wouldn’t make any difference who won (the two brothers would continue to co-reign as the true world champions), but as a plain old regular fight, Haye-Povetkin would likely be an entertaining affair.

That’s my opinion, anyway - I’d like most to see Povetkin forget all about the ancient, undeserving Holyfield, and get it on with Haye instead. Should he win, Povetkin would, A: further ready himself for his ultimate fight against Klitschko, and, B: retire Haye once and for all. If Haye won, on the other hand, he would be able to leave the sport on a much better note, as a winner.

But who would you guys pick next for Povetkin if you had the power to do so?

Article posted on 29.08.2011

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