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Povetkin ready to earn Joshua fight against Hammer

Alexander Povetkin Anthony Joshua

By Scott Gilfoid: Alexander Povetkin will be fighting Christian Hammer next week on December 15 for the WBA heavyweight mandatory spot to face WBA champion Anthony Joshua. The 38-year-old Povetkin (32-1, 23 KOs) says he’s hoping he can get the fight with AJ, as he wants to challenge for the world title.

It’s been 4 years since Povetkin lost his WBA heavyweight title in a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision defeat the hands of the 6’6” Wladimir Klitschko on October 5, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. Povetkin didn’t have the size to compete against Wladimir in that fight. Povetkin also didn’t have the chin to stand up to Wladimir’s big shots, as he was knocked down 3 times in the fight. Wladimir wasn’t even attacking Povetkin aggressively, and yet he kept dropping him.

“I hope so,” said Povetkin when asked by if he wants to fight for a world title after his next fight against Hammer. ”I want to fight the best in the world, and Anthony Joshua is by far one of the best heavyweights in the world.”

The 38-year-old Povetkin needs to fight for a world title soon if he’s to have any chance of winning. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist Povetkin is getting along in his years, and he needs to fight for a world title while he’s still got a little left in the tank. Povetkin has looked good in his last 5 fights since his loss to Klitschko, but he hasn’t fought the best in the heavyweight division.

Povetkin’s recent wins have come against Andriy Rudenko, Johann Duhaupas, Mariusz Wach, Mike Perez, Carlos Takam and Manuel Charr. Those are decent level heavyweights, but they’re not on the level as the best guys in the division. Povetkin had problems beating Wach. He was getting hit by the Polish fighter, and couldn’t stop him until he suffered a jaw injury in the 12th.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn welcomes the idea of him fighting Povetkin when/if the time comes. If Povetkin earns the WBA mandatory spot, Joshua doesn’t plan on vacating the belt to swerve the fight. He’ll take it if he’s still the WBA champion by then. With Joshua potentially fighting Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in 2018, his future is still murky. We don’t know if Joshua will still be a world champion by the end of 2018. Goodness knows, Joshua might be exposed in his next fight by Parker if that fight takes place. If not Parker, then Wilder and Fury have a good chance of introducing Joshua to the beaten ranks. There’s no point in Povetkin fighting Joshua once he’s no longer the king of the hill in holding the IBF/WBA heavyweight titles. Joshua will just be another exposed heavyweight at that point.

“Alexander Povetkin is fighting Christian Hammer which could be the final eliminator to be Joshua’s mandatory,” said Hearn to ”We have spoken about Joshua vs Povetkin, and the likelihood of that.”

Joshua’s last WBA mandatory Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz tested positive for 2 banned drugs recently, and was removed from the mandatory spot by the World Boxing Association. Ortiz isn’t ranked at all in the WBA’s top 15. You can argue that Joshua was given a huge break with Ortiz being removed from the WBA top spot, as he would have had a real chance of beating him.

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