An Intriguing Match Up: Povetkin vs. Helenius

By James Stillerman: Two of the best up and coming top ten heavyweight contenders, Alexander Povetkin and Robert “Nordic Nightmare” Helenius were showcased this past weekend and both pugilists emerged victorious.

Povetkin the number two ranked heavyweight fighter by Ring Magazine, won a unanimous decision over former world champion Ruslan Chagaev by scores of 117-113, 117-113 and 116-112, in a good back forth fight in which Povetkin control the beginning and end rounds. With the victory, Povetkin the 2004 Russian Olympic Gold Medal Winner, improved to 22-0, 15KOs and in the process garnered the “Regular” World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion Belt. Wladimir Klitschko already has the WBA Belt with his victory over David Haye this summer; however the WBA made Wladimir the “Super” WBA champion so that Povetkin and Chagaev could fight for the vacant “Regular” WBA Title.

Povetkin, the six foot two inch 31 year old has beaten a number of notable fighters in his career including heavyweight contenders Jason Estrada, Eddie Chambers, Larry Donald and former world champion Chris Byrd.

Helenius emerged victorious with a brutal ninth round knockout over a very game former champion, Sergei Liakhovick who continued to fight despite breaking his nose in two places in the second round, which gave Liakovick troubling breathing. Helenius the number nine heavyweight by Ring Magazine, had two other knockdowns in the bout and with the win improved to 16-0, 11KOs. Helenius, the 27 year old six foot six inch brawler, now has won three times over former champions, the other two being Lamon Brewster whom he knocked out in the eighth round last year and this past April, he stopped Samuel Peter in the ninth round.

It would be a great fight to have both of these fighters, Povetkin and Helenius, face off against each other, as they put their undefeated records on the line. This potential bout would also help the winner gain additional experience, confidence and become closer to a showdown against either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko, who have ruled the heavyweight division, for the last couple of years. Povetkin could have faced Wladimir after winning the IBF tournament in 2009, however his trainer Teddy Atlas believe at that point he was not ready for Wladimir, despite having the opportunity to make a career high two million dollars. Both Povetkin and Helenius have faced great competition thus far in their careers, have good extensive amateur backgrounds and are both crowd pleasing fighters who are not afraid to let their hands go.

If they were to fight, Povetkin would be the slight favorite because he has the better trainer in Atlas, a longer and more accomplished amateur career and has fought the slightly better opposition since turning professional. Nevertheless, this would be a great fight that would be good for boxing, the heavyweight division and for both men, in light of the fact that that there are not that many notable opponents out there for them to face. The bout would be significant in Europe where both boxers are from and where they have large fan bases and they have the same promoter Sauerland, making it even easier for this great fight to happen.

If this fight were to come to fruition, the earliest it could happen would be next year because it is rumored, according to some boxing sites that Povetkin is going to face former three time heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield on December 17th in Zurich, Switzerland. Hopefully, this is not the case for the health of Holyfield and for making it more likely these two intriguing fighters would fight one another at the end of this year.

Article posted on 03.09.2011

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