At the Olimpiyskiy in Moscow Saturday evening Wladimir Klitschko took on yet another challenger for his WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO belts in Alexander Povetkin. The 34-year-old Russian had the advantage of a home crowd for the fight but the fans can only do so much. Povetkin, like most before him, fell victim to the incredible skill, fitness and discipline that is Wladimir Klitschko. This was not his best performance but it takes the best to get the best out of the best and Povetkin just did not provide enough of a challenge to bring out the A-grade Klitschko.
Three quarters hugging contest and one quarter boxing match, most of this fight was spent with the two men in the clench. This less-than-thrilling show was caused by Povetkin’s relentless strategy of putting his head down, charging forward and throwing wildly. For twelve rounds the previously undefeated heavyweight continued this ill-fated scheme which served only to irritate Klitschko; like a burn on the roof of your mouth, Povetkin was annoying but harmless.
A full recount of the fight might be the one thing more boring than the fight itself but a few rounds were worth watching. The second round saw the Ukrainian floor Povetkin near the end bell, the first time in the Russian’s career that he had been down. A fluid and perfectly placed left hook took the legs out from under the challenger and he went to the mat in a leg-buckling splash.
The knockdown turned out to be the only thing that seemed to drive Povetkin in the fight because the third round was likely his strongest and probably the only one he won on many scorecards. From there it was not until the seventh that some action returned to the bout. Klitschko knocked down the challenger three times in the round through a series of powerful combinations.
Povetkin fought on but, as previously stated, the strategy never changed. Finally fed up with the constant grappling, a frustrated Klitschko shoved Povetkin to the mat early in the 11th for which he was deducted one point. Unfortunately for Povetkin, he could not take advantage of that deduction though by that point it would not have mattered as Klitschko, now 60-3, ended up winning all but one round on all three scorecards, 119-104, to retain his titles and add one more notch to his belt.