Is It Too Soon For Povetkin To Take On Wladimir Klitschko?
After watching last night’s IBF tournament eliminator bout between Alexander Povetkin (14-0, 11 KOs) and former heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, I have to admit that I have my doubts about whether Povetkin is ready to fight International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (49-3, 45 Kos). Of course, Povetkin still has to beat the winner of Eddie Chambers vs. Calvin Brock in order to get to a match with Wladimir, I’m pretty sure that Povetkin will beat either of those two fighters, perhaps quite easily. Wladimir, however, is another matter altogether for Povetkin.
First of all, Povetkin appears to be just too small for the 6’7″ 245 lb Klitschko, who would have a six inch height advantage and a twenty pound weight advantage to go along with it. More than that, Wladimir seems to be the much harder puncher, and is also much speedier with his punches. Last night, Byrd proved how easy is it was to hit Povetkin, almost hitting him at will whenever he chose to. Though Povetkin was quick to retaliate with his own punches, I fear that trying to match Wladimir punch for punch wouldn’t be the wisest idea for Povetkin, mainly because he’d likely get knocked out or busted up should he attempt to trade with Wladimir.
I’m not sure that Povetkin will be able to change his style of fighting no matter how much he’s coached on this, because I’ve noticed that he seems to have a tendency of trying to retaliate when he’s hit almost immediately, forgetting all about strategy or defense and getting hit often as he wades forward. Against the 3rd tier fighters that Povetkin has fought so far, he’s been able to get away with this style of fighting. However, against a knockout artist like Wladimir, Povetkin will have to change and become much more defensive-minded or else he’ll be knocked out within the first couple of rounds. As for Povetkin’s lack of speed, I don’t see that as something he can change.
He’s still young and if he was going to be a fast puncher, he already would be by now, so that’s something he’ll be stuck with. Usually slow heavyweights like Povetkin are power-punchers, which allows them to make up for their slow hand-speed, but Povetkin doesn’t really have true knockout power, and instead has to rely on stopping his opponents by accumulation of shots.