By Eric Baldwin: A purse bid is scheduled this Friday on October 7 for the fight between #1 WBC heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkina and #2 WBC Bermane Stiverne for the interim World Boxing Council heavyweight title.
The current WBC champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder is still recovering from surgery on his right hand and bicep sustained in his 8th round knockout win win over Chris Arreola last July. The winner of Povetkin-Stiverne pure bid will be able to stage the fight.
As of now, there are three promoters that will be in the purse bid with Stiverne’s promoter Don King, Povetkin’s promoter Andrey Ryabinsky of World of Boxing and Titov Boxing Promotions taking part in it, according to ESPN.
Deontay will wind up facing the winner of the Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) vs. Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) in 2017 at some point. It’ll give Wilder his first solid opponent since his 12 round unanimous decision victory over Stiverne in January 2015. Since that fight, Wilder has had four easy voluntary defenses against Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas and Artur Szpilka and Chris Arreola.
Not surprisingly, Wilder knocked out all four of those guys. Wilder was supposed to defend against Povetkin this year, but he tested positive for a banned substance Meldonium and that caused the fight to be canceled. Wilder was then given yet another voluntary defense. Some fans are starting to get impatient with Wilder, because they want to see him fight a quality opponent already rather than being given one voluntary defense after another against over-matched opponents.
Stiverne and Povetkin are both 37-years-old, and the clock is ticking with them and their careers. They haven’t fought in 2016, and it looks like they won’t be facing each other until 2017.
Stiverne is the bigger puncher of the two, but he’s not as good a boxer as Povetkin. At this point it’s difficult to predict which of them will win this fight Povetkin didn’t look impressive in his last fight against Mariusz Wach last November. He struggled with the height and reach of the tall 6’7” Polish heavyweight before eventually stopping him in the 12th round.
Before that, Povetkin had knocked out Mike Perez, Carlos Takam and Manuel Charr. Those were good wins, but Povetkin didn’t have to deal with a big puncher in those fights like he’ll be dealing with in his fight against Stiverne. The last time that Povetkin faced a really good heavyweight in Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, he was easily beaten by a 12 round unanimous decision. Povetkin was knocked own four times in the fight.
It seemed like each time Wladimir would hit Povetkin solidly, he would fall down. It was not a great to watch because of Povetkin going down so easily, and all the clinching from Wladimir. It’s nice that Povetkin has won his last four fights, but he’s done that against weak opposition. It’s hard to imagine Povetkin being able to beat the real top heavyweights in the division like Joseph Parker, Anthony Joshua, Luis Ortiz and Deontay Wilder. Povetkin doesn’t have the size, and he’s more like a small heavyweight. For heavyweights like Stiverne, Povetkin and David Haye, you can argue that boxing needs a smaller heavyweight division for these guys.
Stiverne was easily beaten by the 6’7” Wilder last year by a one-sided 12 round decision. Stiverne was knocked down once by Wilder, but the referee failed to give Wilder credit for the knockdown despite the replay showing a clear knockdown. Stiverne, 6’2”, didn’t have the height or the reach to deal with Wilder’s size in that fight. Stiverne lost his WBC heavyweight title in the defeat to Wilder.
Stiverne does a lot better against fighters his own size like Chris Arreola. Povetkin is going to have a lot of problems with Stiverne’s punching power and his powerful jab in their fight unless he can get him out of there early. In Stiverne’s only fight since his loss to Wilder, he defeated 36-year-old Derric Rossy last November. Stiverne was dropped in round one by Rossy. That was a surprise because Stiverne has a good chin and Rossy isn’t much of a puncher.
“I would like to thank Don King and the honorable Mauricio Sulaiman of the WBC for giving me this opportunity to fight for the heavyweight title once again,” Stiverne said via ESPN.com. “For the betterment of boxing in general, and the heavyweight division in particular, I plan to knock Povetkin out and bring this title to America. Then I will get my revenge against Wilder, when he is ready.”
It should be a good fight between Povetkin and Stiverne. Both will likely be rusty with all the time out of the ring. You don’t like to see fighters that are nearing 40 staying out of the ring for an extended period of time like these two fighters are. You never know how much time these guys have left. The heavyweight division has improved a lot, and it’s hard to imagine the winner of this fight being able to beat Wilder.