Former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (33-1, 23 KOs) had an easy time defeating contender Christian Hammer (22-5, 12 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Friday night in a WBA heavyweight title eliminator at the DIVS, Ekaterinburg, Russia.
The scores 120-107, 120-108 and 118-108. Boxing 247 had Povetkin winning 12 rounds to 0. Hammer looked terrible. As bad as Hammer looked, it’s hard to believe he was ranked in the top 15 at all.
Hammer was deducted a point for holding in round 7.
The 38-year-old Povetkin didn’t look that good. It was more of a case of Hammer being so bad. Povetkin has aged. He’s not the same fighter he once was. It was lucky for him that he was in with such a mediocre fighter tonight.
With the win, Povetkin is now the WBA mandatory challenger to WBA champion Anthony Joshua. I can’t see Povetkin beating Joshua or even being competitive with him.
Povetkin is now sitting pretty as the WBA mandatory for Anthony Joshua. It’s unbelievable that Povetkin only has to beat a limited fighter like Hammer to become the WBA mandatory. With all the contenders in the World Boxing Association’s top 15 rankings, it could have been a lot tougher if the WBA had forced the 38-year-old Povetkin to fight Jarrell Miller, for instance.
The way that Povetkin looked tonight, I wouldn’t have favored him to beat Miller. Povetkin isn’t nearly big enough to beat a guy as big as the 6’4” 298 lb. Miller. Heck, Povetkin struggled in beating what for all intents and purposes was a punching bag tonight in 30-year-old Hammer. What made it harder than expected was the size difference between the two heavyweights. Povetkin was giving away almost 35 pounds to Hammer, and he was facing a guy with not only size but youth. When a 40-year-old fighter takes on a 30-year-old, it’s not that easy to beat them, even if you have more talent. Hammer was giving Povetkin problems just based on his youth and size. A young fighter with the size of Jarrell Miller would have been a nightmare for Povetkin.
As I was saying, Povetkin got VERY lucky with the WBA giving Hammer a high ranking with their organization instead of the unbeaten Miller, who probably would have made him look like an old man tonight if he was fighting for the WBA mandatory spot.
Povetkin could be the Plan-B for Joshua if he’s unable to setup a fight against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker for early 2018. That’s the fight that Joshua wants, as he’s hoping to collect all the heavyweight titles. But the negotiations for the Joshua-Parker fight have been tough, with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn playing hardball in wanting to give Parker a 70-30 split. Mandatory challengers are entitled to a 25 percent cut. Hearn sees Parker deserving just a tad bit more than a mandatory challenger. If that fight can’t get made, then Povetkin is in a good place as the backup option for Joshua if they want to in that direction.