Hearn: Povetkin’s team has gone quiet since offered David Price fight
By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn says he still hasn’t heard back from heavyweight Alexander Povetkin’s promoter since he offered him a fight against David Price for the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker card on March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Hearn says Povetkin’s management wants him to fight on the Joshua-Parker card, but they’ve not called him back since he offered them the fight against the hard hitting 6’8” Price (22-4, 18 KOs). Hearn wonders if Team Povetkin is getting cold feet at the idea of mixing it up against the 34-year-old Price, who would have a puncher’s chance of winning. Povetkin (33-1, 23 KOs) would be a huge favorite according to Hearn, but Price would be a threat to knocking him out always due to his size and punching power.
5 years ago, Povetkin had problems taking former IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s power in their fight on October 5, 2013. The 6’6” Klitschko, knocked Povetkin down 4 times in their fight. That was with Wladimir fighting conservatively by throwing few punches. Povetkin could not handle Wladimir’s power at all in that fight. Price isn’t quite the puncher Wladimir is, but he’s not far off with his right hand. If Price connects with one of hands on Povetkin’s chin, he could knock him out or at least knock him down. Price used to be a good finisher in the past when he had an opponent hurt. If Price doesn’t gas out after hurting Povetkin like he did in his fight with Christian Hammer, he’ll knock him out without a doubt.
“Price came back and said, ‘Yeah, I’ll take the fight.’ I went back to Povetkin’s team and said Price will have it, and they’ve gone a little bit quiet to be honest,” said Hearn to IFL in talking about Price agreeing to fight Povetkin on the Joshua-Parker undercard. “You have to wonder if they’re thinking, ‘What do we get for beating David Price? On the other hand, he can punch and he’s dangerous.’ So, I’m hoping I’ll get a call from the World of Boxing today, saying, ‘Yeah, we’ll have Price,’ and then Povetkin-Price gets made,” said Hearn.
It’s understandable why Povetkin’s management might not want to take the fight with Price. It’s a no-win situation for Povetkin. If he beats Price, he’ll get no credit from the boxing fans, because he’s already been knocked out 4 times in his career in stoppage losses to Tony Thompson [x 2], Erkan Teper and Christian Hammer. Povetkin just finished beating Povetkin easily in his last fight in December. The boxing world won’t care too much if Povetkin beats Price, since it’s become almost routine for him to be knocked out when facing decent opposition.
Hearn says he’s not as interested in matching Dereck Chisora up against Povetkin, because he stands as good a chance of winning due to his fighting style. Chisora is more made to order for Povetkin than Price is. Besides, Hearn says he wants to save Chisora for a possible fight against Price on the Joshua vs. Parker undercard if Povetkin chooses not to face Price.
”It’s a brilliant opportunity for Price. It’ll make him No.1 [with WBA if he beats Povetkin],” said Hearn. ”Listen, if he beats Povetkin, he’s there, and if he doesn’t, he’s back where he is. No problem, he gets his payday. The thing with Price is, he always has the ability to win. I’m not saying he beats Povetkin, because he’s a massive underdog. But if Price hits Povetkin on the chin during an exchange, does he knock Povetkin out cold? That goes for everyone else in the heavyweight division,” Hearn said.
It sounds like Hearn is hoping that Price will beat Povetkin, because that would get the Russian fighter out of the way of Joshua for later this year. Povetkin is Joshua’s mandatory challenger right now after he beat Hammer last December. Hearn believes the World Boxing Association will order Joshua to face Povetkin before the end of the year. Hearn has no problems making the Joshua vs. Povetkin fight, but it appears he likes the idea of Price getting the title shot against AJ instead. If Price beats Povetkin, he would be positioned in his place at No.1 with the WBA. Hearn isn’t sure if the win for Price would make him Joshua’s WBA mandatory challenger or not, but it would at least make him No.1 with the sanctioning body.
It’s very likely the WBA would go ahead and order Joshua to face Price under those circumstances. It would take too long for Price to have to face the next highest rated contender in the WBA’s ranking in another title eliminator. The WBA probably won’t want to wait that long before ordering Joshua to defend against their mandatory challenger, which in that case would be Price if he’s able to beat Povetkin. It’s looking like Povetkin’s team might not want to take a risky fight against a big puncher like Price. Povetkin struggles against big heavyweights. He had a lot of problems against Wladimir, Hammer and Mariusz Wach. Those are all large heavyweights with size and power. Povetkin is a small heavyweight at 6’2”, 225 pounds. He’s also getting old at 38-years-old, and he doesn’t seem to be the same guy he was 2 years ago. Povetkin has lost something from his game.
“Chisora is up for it as well, but I think Chisora, he has a different style for that fight,” Hearn said in talking about Chisora possibly facing Povetkin on the Joshua vs. Parker card. “It’s a tougher fight if you look at how Chisora can beat Povetkin. Price has that equalizer that you just know, he could do it. With Chisora, we bring him back on March 24th. If the Povetkin fight doesn’t happen for Price, I’d like to make Price-Chisora on the undercard instead. It’s a really good heavyweight fight. Both guys are in the same kind of position. We’ll see what happens,” said Hearn.
Hearn isn’t nearly as interested in letting Chisora get the fight against Povetkin as he is with Price. Chisora is a chess piece that Hearn can eventually use to put in with Joshua if he can be rebuilt with 2 or 3 wins. Price isn’t in the same position, which makes him expendable in a way. Price’s career is already rock bottom right now. If he loses to Povetkin, it won’t be as bad as it would if Chisora loses. Hearn wouldn’t be able to do much with Chisora after yet another loss for him. He was recently beaten by Agit Kabayel, Kubrat Pulev and Dillian Whyte. Chisora has suffered those 3 losses in the last 2 years of his career.