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WBC orders Povetkin – Stiverne

Alexander Povetkin Deontay Wilder

By Patrick McHugh: With WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder nursing a surgically repaired right hand and torn biceps, the World Boxing Council has ordered #1 WBC contender Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOS) to face #2 WBC Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) for the WBC interim heavyweight title.

The winner of the Povetkin vs. Stiverne fight will then face the 30-year-old Wilder in 2017 for his WBC title. The negotiation for the Povetkin-Stiverne fight begins today. If the two fighters are unable to come to an agreement by September 16 of next month, then a purse bid will be conducted on that date. Drug testing will be done by VADA for the Povetkin vs. Stiverne fight.

This will be a tough test for the 36-year-old Povetkin to have to go through the hard hitting 37-year-old Stiverne to get to Wilder. The 6’2” Stiverne does well against guys his own size, and the 6’2” Povetkin won’t have a height or weight advantage like the 6’7” Wilder had in their fight last year in January. Wilder beat Stiverne by a 12 round decision to take his WBC title from him, but he needed to move for the full 12 rounds.

Povetkin won’t be able to use that same approach, because he’s not tall and he doesn’t have much mobility to his game. If Povetkin is going to win this fight, then he’s going to need to do it the old fashioned away by grinding out a decision. With Stiverne’s huge punching power, it’s quite possible that Povetkin could visit the canvas two or three times in the fight.

Wladimir Klitschko knocked Povetkin down five times in beating him by a 12 round decision in their fight in 2013. Stiverne hits at least as hard as Wladimir. Since that fight, Povetkin has won his last four contests in beating Manuel Charr, Carlos Takam, Mike Perez and Mariusz Wach. Takam is a decent fighter, but Perez, Charr and Wach are very flawed heavyweights.

Povetkin was supposed to have fought Wilder in May of this year in Russia, but he tested positive for a banned substance and the WBC chose to cancel the fight until they made their investigation.

Stiverne won his last fight against Derric Rossy last November in winning a 10 round decision. It was pretty close. Stiverne came into the fight 15 pounds heavier than he weighed for his fight against Deontay Wilder, which makes you wonder how hard did he prepare for the fight. An in shape Stiverne is a very hard fighter to deal with.

Povetkin hasn’t fought since his win over Wach last year in November. There might be some rust due to his inactivity. We’re going to have to see.

Wilder expects to be fully recovered and back inside the ring in January 2017 to defend his WBC title. It’s unclear if he’ll be making another voluntary defense at that time or facing the winner of the Povetkin-Stiverne fight.

Povetkin will likely be the favorite over Stiverne, but that might not mean much because this is going to be a real 50-50 affair.

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