Two Olympic champions in the ring should always mean a great match unless one of them is called Audley Harrison. In this case one of the champs is unbeaten while the other has three KO defeats on his record. Ironically the unbeaten Povetkin is the underdog in this fight. His last outing against a serious opponent – the cruiser weight champion Marco Huck (Muamer Hukić) – did not leave a good impression. He out boxed and out punched Huck easily but his shape was substandard and his conditioning betrayed him in the championship rounds. Only his amateur boxing skills and survival instincts helped him hear the final bell when he barely stood on his feet and fell into the arms of his corner right after the bell. After this spurious performance Povetkin boosted up his confidence with two early KO wins against softer opposition – a faded Hasim Rahman and a Polish heavyweight by the name of Andrzej Wawrzyk.
Alexander Povetkin has great boxing skills and he is technically more versatile than Wladimir Klitschko both in defense and offense. He uses every punch in the book and he is equally comfortable in close and mid-range. Long range belongs to Klitschko. Povetkins uses more body and head movement than Wlad and his footwork is faster and more agile. He lacks one punch KO power though and this means he needs a miracle against Wladimir Klitschko.
Wlad may not have the variety of Povetkin’s game but he has one thing that separates him from most boxers – one punch KO power at long range. Most boxers hit hardest at mid-range, some are blessed with power at close range but very few can hit hard at long range. This is when the arm has passed full extension and muscles and sinews are pulling the hand back to protect the joints. Wlad’s range is very long and his arm reaches maximum extension when he is practically out of his opponent’s danger zone. His opponent can barely touch him while Klitschko retains his full power ready to seize any opportunity.
Wladimir Klitschko is vulnerable at close range and in exchanges so he avoids these situations as much as he can. His stance, footwork and guard are long range oriented and his defense relies heavily on “suppressive fire” that keeps opponents at bay.. He keeps his lead hand low but this is a trap, an ambush that intercepts any attempts for rolling or bobbing inside. His jab is a power punch that controls range and keeps his suspect chin out of trouble; his right hand is a show stopper that will probably put a blemish on Povetkin’s record.