For Wladimir, it’s almost the norm for him to have a weight advantage over his opponents. The exceptions have been in his fights against Mariusz Wach, Tony Thompson [1st fight], Ray Austin, and Hasim Rahman.
Being bigger doesn’t always help, but in this case it probably will for Wladimir because Povetkin isn’t a big puncher and he’s a slow traditional heavyweight. He’s not the type that has given Wladimir problems like the lightning quick southpaw Corrie Sanders.
The one thing that we don’t know about the Wladimir-Povetkin fight is how well Wladimir will handle the stress of fighting a popular Russian fighter in Moscow in front of what could very well be a large pro-Povetkin crowd of Russian fans.
For some boxing fans, this fight can been as a Russia vs. Ukraine type rivalry due to Wladimir having won a Gold medal in the 1996 Olympics for Ukraine, and Povetkin winning the Gold medal in the 2004 Olympics for Russia.
The 6’6”, 241 lb. Wladimir’s superior size over the 6’2”, 225 lb. Povetkin makes the fight look more like a battle between a super heavyweight and a cruiserweight. Wladimir looks much bigger than Povetkin, and he packs more of a punch as well.
Former heavyweight Tim Witherspoon thinks that Povetkin will win this fight. He likes his home country advantage, and he believes he could give Wladimir big problems if he’s able to get inside his long reach to throw his combinations.
Witherspoon said “Povetkin can make this happen. We could have a new champion. I smell an upset…I see Povetkin as a real threat to Wladimir…The older brother [Vitali Klitschko] would be less effected because he’s tougher mentally, has more heart.”
It’s interesting that Wladimir is still perceived by some people to be mentally weak when it comes to dealing with pressure, and having less heart than his brother Vitali.
Certainly earlier in Wladimir’s career he looked like a fighter that couldn’t handle pressure when his opponents would start coming after him trying to win. But Wladimir has looked a lot better since his loss to Lamon Brewster back in 2004.
Wladimir’s late trainer Emanuel Steward did a lot to make Wladimir a much better fighter, and it seems that much of the that were formed about Wladimir as a fighter came from before he was trained by Steward.
Since the loss to Brewster, Wladimir has been a much different fighter and you can’t really stick the old labels anymore. Vitali struggled to beat Dereck Chisora last year and he looked plenty worried in that fight.
It’s difficult to picture Wladimir having any problems at all with the same fighter had it been him in the ring with Chisora instead of Vitali. Wladimir has progressed but he’s still not getting a lot of credit for it from some boxing fans and ex fighters.