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Alexander Povetkin vs. Christian Hammer to be televised by Sky

Alexander Povetkin Anthony Joshua

By Tim Royner: Sky Sports will be televising this Friday’s fight between former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (32-1, 23 Kos) and Christian Hammer (22-4, 12 KOs) from the DIVS in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

The Povetkin vs. Hammer contest is thought to be a World Boxing Association final eliminator bout. The winner will be WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s mandatory challenger. The Povetkin vs. Hammer winner has the choice to pick between being the mandatory to Joshua’s WBA tile or Joseph Parker’s WBO belt.

Povetkin is said to be more interested in becoming Joshua’s mandatory. It soon might not matter though, as Joshua will likely be facing Parker in a unification fight in early 2018. The fights still not done yet, but considering how close Joshua and Parker’s promoters are to getting the fight finalized, it’s likely they’ll get it across the finish line before the end of December.

“I want to fight the best in the world, and Anthony Joshua is by far one of the best heavyweights in the world,” Povetkin said to “I always go into the ring with confidence to win.”

There’s more money for Povetkin if he faces Joshua than Parker. It’s obvious pick to go in the direction of a fight with Joshua than looking for a smaller payday against Parker. But it’s probably not going to matter soon which direction Povetkin goes in. If Joshua beats Parker, he’ll have the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in his possession.

Povetkin can then face Joshua whenever the WBA orders him to make that defense. There’s a good chance the WBA will order Joshua to defend against the Povetkin-Hammer winner in 2018. It’ll be interesting to see if Joshua looks to stall for time before he makes that defense, because he’s 3 important fights he wants to take in 2018 against Parker, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. It would be a shame if Joshua had to replace one of those guys with the Povetkin vs. Hammer winner.

If the WBA orders Joshua to make the defense next year, he’ll obviously do it if he can’t pay Povetkin or Hammer to step aside. I don’t think Povetkin will accept a step aside payment. There’s too much risk that Joshua will lose to one of the heavyweights he faces in 2018 in Parker, Wilder or Fury. If Povetkin steps aside to let Joshua fight one of those guys and he loses, then the Russian fighter will miss out on a big payday fight against Joshua. He’ll still get a nice payday against whoever beats Joshua, but it likely won’t be for the same money.

Povetkin will be coming into Friday’s fight with Hammer with a 6-fight winning streak since his loss 4 years ago to Wladimir Klitschko. Povetkin has looked really good in winning every fight since getting beaten by Wladimir. Hammer, 30, is going to have a tough time dealing with Povetkin’s power, boxing skills and vast experience. Povetkin captured a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics for Russia.

Hammer is coming into Friday’s fight with 5-fght winning streak. His last loss was to Tyson Fury in 2015 in losing by an 8th round stoppage. In Hammer’s last 2 fights, he’s beaten David Price and Zine Eddine Benmakhouf.

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