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Povetkin cleared by WBC

Alexander Povetkin

By Jeff Aranow: Former heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin has been cleared by the World Boxing council for a past failed drug tests, and he’ll soon by back in the WBC’s ratings by early 2018.
The WBC clearing the 38-year-old Povetkin (32-1, 23 KOs) was expected by many in the boxing world.

He’d already been given the green light by the WBA and WBO. Never the less, it doesn’t mean that Povetkin will be getting a crack at WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s title anytime soon. Wilder just made a voluntary defense of his WBC belt in beating mandatory Bermane Stiverne by a 1st round knockout.

It’ll likely be another year before Wilder makes his next mandatory defense, which could be against Dominic Breazeale. Unless the WBC is going to push Povetkin to the top of their rankings next January, he’s likely looking at least 2, possibly 3 years before he gets a fight with Wilder. Wilder isn’t likely going to pick Povetkin out in a voluntary defense. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Povetkin tested positive for the banned drug Ostarine last December, which resulted in him being banned by the World Boxing Council and given a stiff $250,000 fine. Povetkin also tested positive for meldonium in May of 2016. That test came a week before Povetkin was supposed to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder for their scheduled fight in Moscow, Russia. The fight failed to happen due to the positive test by Povetkin. In August of last year, Povetkin was cleared of that positive test.

Povetkin’s promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy said that his fighter has been cleared by the WBC. Here’s what Ryabinsky had to say on his Instagram:

“So, a few months ago we achieved justification (rankings) in all organizations except the WBC. Now, the WBC sent us a letter today stating that Povetkin, suspended for life since December 6, can officially hold fights with the WBC, and from January, he will be returned to the official rating! Talking of Meldonium, practically he has been announced innocent, talking of Ostarine, it has been recognized that Ostarine did not enter his body intentionally. It is the first case in the history of boxing when a boxer proves himself innocent having such problems,” said Ryabinsky.

Povetkin will need to test clean in the future drug tests for him to stay on the good side with the WBC. Povetkin is cleared now, but he’s going to need to test clean for him to get a crack at a world title anytime soon.

Povetkin fights next month against Christian Hammer (22-4, 12 KOs) on December 15 for the WBO International heavyweight title at the DIVS in Ekaterinburg, Russia. It’s thought that if Povetkin wins that fight, he’ll be the new mandatory challenger for WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. The way things going, Parker might not be the WBO champion by the time Povetkin fights for the belt. Parker wants to face Joshua in early 2018 in a unification fight. Parker has a good chance of losing that fight.

That would be better for Povetkin if Parker does lose to Joshua, because it would give him a bigger payday fighting Joshua in 2019 or 2020, if he’s still the champion by that point in time. Joshua and Deontay Wilder are on a crash course to fight each other next year. Wilder wouldn’t bring Povetkin a lot of money compared to Joshua, and it would be just as difficult a fight for him due to the 6’7” Bronze Bomber’s height, each and power. The money that Povetkin gets fighting Joshua will be huge. Losing the fight might not be a big deal. Povetkin will get such a big payday fighting Joshua, it’ll be well worth it. It’s fortunate for Povetkin that the World Boxing Organization hasn’t put him in a position where he has to fight a good heavyweight to become the WBO mandatory. If Povetkin had to go through someone like Luis Ortiz to get the mandatory spot, he might not be up to the job.

Povetkin is will be turning 39-years-old next year. He’s not a very big heavyweight at 6’2”, and he’s going to have a difficult time beating any of the top heavyweights the longer he has to wait for a title shot. In Povetkin’s fight with the 6’6” former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, he was simply too small to do anything in that fight. It looked like a fight between a cruiserweight and a heavyweight. Povetkin was too short to land anything. Wladimir was bombing Povetkin from long range all night long, and knocking him down repeatedly. As big as IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC champion Deontay Wilder are, Povetkin will be too small for those guys. But, if Povetkin’s main objective is to just get the fight and the payday that goes with it, then he could achieve that goal in time. But once Povetkin loses to either of them, it’s going to be a long time before he gets another title shot.

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