Alexander Povetkin will return to action in his native Russia on December 15, and it’s no secret his opponent is likely to be Romanian-born German-based contender Christian Hammer. This match-up (up on BoxRec and already having been discussed on a number of boxing web sites) is not yet official but seems likely.
And a good match-up it is. Povetkin, having been plagued by failed drugs tests (seeing a huge fight with WBC heavyweight boss Deontay Wilder fall apart as the result of a failed test on the part of the Russian star) needs to get his career moving. At age 38, the former WBA champ has no more time to waste. Last seeing action in July when he improved to 32-1(23) with a wide decision victory over Andriy Rudenko, Povetkin figures to get a stiffer test against Hammer, 22-4(12).
Hammer, the same height as Povetkin but the younger man by a considerable margin of eight years, is on something of a roll right now. Since he was stopped (via corner retirement) by Tyson Fury in a February 2015 WBO international title fight, Hammer has reeled off five straight wins – included here, were wins over Erkan Teper and David Price.
A good, strong and now experienced heavyweight contender (Hammer also holding wins over Kevin Johnson, Michael Sprott and Irineu Costa Junior, as well as having been in with Mariusz Wach and Taras Bidenko) the 30 year old will be feeling very confident going into all future fights, one with Povetkin included.
Hopefully strict pre and post-fight drugs testing will be in place, and Povetkin must come up clean. On a level playing field, Povetkin, beaten only by Wladimir Klitschko, has to be looked at as the favourite to win, but Hammer has scored upsets before.
This one should be interesting, as well as exciting. If he can win, and keep a clean sheet, Povetkin could possibly get in the current mix of big and exciting heavyweights. How the majority of fans feel when they look at Povetkin is another thing entirely, however. Do they still trust and believe in him?