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Povetkin stops Wach, but fails to impress

Alexander PovetkinBy Allan Fox: WBC Silver heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) retained his title tonight in stopping the over-matched former world title challenger Mariusz Wach (31-2, 17 KOs) in a cut stoppage on Wednesday night at the Basket-Hall Arena, in Kazan, Russia. The fight was halted in the 12th due to a cut under the left eye of the 35-year-old Wach. The Polish fighter wasn’t hurt other than a cut.

Povetkin suffered a bad cut over his left eye earlier in the fight. The cut obviously means that Povetkin won’t be ready to challenge WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in January.

Overall, it wasn’t an impressive performance for the 36-year-old Povetkin, because he couldn’t do much with what in practical purposes was a punching bag in front of him in the slow, lumbering Wach. Had this been a good heavyweight with offensive skills, Povetkin would have taken a lot of punishment. At 6’2″, Povetkin is too short to compete with the bigger heavyweights in the division like Wilder, Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury.

Povetkin was there to be hit all night long if Wach knew how the throw punches. At 6’7 1/2″, Wach had the size to dominate if he possessed a good jab. Even with Wach’s underdeveloped jab, he was still able to connect all night long to the head of Povetkin. Wach didn’t use his power shots much in the fight for some reason. He looked like he didn’t have faith in his stamina to let his hands go in any real way. Still though he was able to connect with an occasional big shot that got the attention of Povetkin. One gets the sense from watching the fight that Povetkin would have been in deep trouble if he had been facing a heavyweight with power and the ability to throw power shots. Povetkin didn’t look improved from the fighter that Wladimir Klitschko beat two years ago. He was the same guy that Wladimir dropped four times. The only difference was that he was fighting a guy with absolutely not offense in Wach, and this enabled Povetkin to win by default. He didn’t have to worry about getting hit because Wach was just standing there the entire fight.

In the 2nd half of the fight, Povetkin lost a lot of steam on his shots. He was still throwing a lot of punches, but he was missing a lot more and the power was clearly no longer there. Povetkin looked strong in the first six rounds, but he definitely didn’t have the power on his shots in the last six rounds of the fight like he did in the first six rounds. What this means is that if Povetkin is only going to be capable of punching with power for six rounds, he’s going to have trouble when he eventually challenges Wilder for his WBC title. Wilder is capable of throwing with major power for 12 full rounds, and Povetkin will be forced to eat a lot of hard leather.

Wilder will be making a voluntary defense of his WBC title in January against an opponent still to be determined. With Povetkin’s cut over his left eye, he might not be ready to fight until April. It would be too risky for him to come back before that due to the severity of the cut. The World Boxing Council has already given the 6’7″ Wilder the approval for him to fight in January against an opponent still to be determined. It’ll be one of the top 15 contenders, but someone likely near the bottom of the rankings rather than the top.

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