Steward: Chagaev-Povetkin for the WBA title is an embarrassment to boxing!
By Jason Kim: Photo: Wende – Trainer Emanuel Steward is disgusted with this Saturday’s fight between Russian heavyweights Alexander Povetkin (21-0, 15 KO’s) and Ruslan Chagaev (27-1-1, 17 KO’s) for the vacant WBA heavyweight title at the Messehalle, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany. Steward sees that fight as a joke when a world title is attached to it.
Without the title on the line, it’s a decent heavyweight fight between two top contenders. However, heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko recently captured the World Boxing Association title against David Haye on July 2nd. The WBA then turned around and made Wladimir the “Super World” heavyweight champion and opened up his “regular” WBA title for Chagaev and Povetkin to fight over.
This whole creation of Super World heavyweight champions are what many boxing people see as another route for the sanctioning bodies to add an additional revenue stream. It gives them the opportunity to get more sanctioning fees and make more cash. It doesn’t seem to add any value to boxing other than watering down the champions and creating so many that the boxing public have a hard time keeping up with all of them.
“When you have a world champion [Wladimir Klitschko] and then you’re coming up and creating another world champion,” Steward said in an interview at eastsideboxing.com. “It’s an embarrassment to boxing…Povetkin wouldn’t fight Wladimir Klitschko because he never thought he was ready, so they created a situation where he can still fight and be world champion without fighting Klitschko and they did the same thing in the WBC where they gave it to Julio Cesar Chavez Junior where he could be a world champion without fighting a world champion.”
It wouldn’t be so bad if the winner of the Povetkin-Chagaev fight would then fight Wladimir next, so that he could be the one and only WBA heavyweight champion. But that doesn’t look it’s going to happen. There is talk that the Povetkin vs. Chagaev winner will be facing 48-year-old Evander Holyfield next in a safe money fight.