Joshua with huge 23 pound weight advantage over Povetkin
By Tim Royner: Anthony Joshua supposedly has been trimming his weight down from the 250s that he’s been laboring around with in recent fights, but he weighed in at a hulking 245 ¼ pounds on Friday for his title defense of his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles against the much smaller 39-year-old Alexander Povetkin this Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Joshua’s weight at Friday’s weigh-in was 23 pounds more than the 222 pounds that Povetkin weighed in at, which kind of tells you what the Russian talent is up against. The good news for Povetkin’s boxing fans is this isn’t unusual for him to be facing a hulking opponent that outweighs him.
Here’s a look at the size mismatches Povetkin has had in the past during his career:
• Wladimir Klitschko vs. Povetkin
• David Price vs. Povetkin – 27 pounds lighter
• Christian Hammer vs. Povetkin – 22 lbs. lighter
• Mariusz Wach vs. Povetkin – 28 pounds lighter
• Carlos Takam vs. Povetkin – 33 lbs. lighter
• Manuel Charr vs. Povetkin – 23 pounds ligher
• Hasim Rahman vs. Povetkin – 27 pounds lighter
• Anthony Joshua vs. Povetkin – 23 lbs. lighter
As you can see, Povetkin has frequently been frequently the lighter fighter in his biggest matches of his career in the last six years since 2012. The only fight where Povetkin has lost was against Klischko in 2013. The other fights, Povetkin was able to overcome the size advantage of his opponents with his punching power and talent. On Saturday, Povetkin will be attempting to overcome Joshua’s size and power, as well as his home advantage. Joshua has four things going for him in this fight – youth, power, and size and hometown advantage. It’s going to be difficult for Povetkin to overcome all of those things, but it’s possible. Povetkin’s punching power, experience and boxing skills are a great equalizer.
“He’s going to be quick, going to be fast, so I’ll put on my dancing shoes and be fast with my feet,” Joshua said to skysports.com.“I’m a physical, strong guy, who knows how to box.”
Povetkin’s weight of 222 lbs. is seven pounds less than the 229 pounds he weighed for his previous fight against David Price earlier his year on March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Povetkin seems to fight better when he’s close to 230 pounds. When he’s in the 222 pound region, he’s less effective and sometimes labors to victory without his power being as much of a factor.
The 28-year-old Joshua is three pounds heavier than the 242 pounds he weighed for his previous fight against former WBO champion Joseph Parker in their fight on March 31. Joshua won that fight by a 12 round unanimous decision. Joshua wasn’t to hurt Parker, but then again, he spent the entire fight on the outside jabbing him. The referee kept Parker from fighting in close by pulling him away each time he attempted to fight on the inside, so it made things easy for Joshua. That referee won’t be working Saturday’s fight, so Joshua may need to fight different way of winning. Unless this referee, Steve Gray, prevents inside fighting as well, Joshua will need to figure out how to deal with Povetkin’s inside fighting.
If Povetkin can take away Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, it would set him up for a huge money payday in the rematch. Povetkin can make a lot of money if he beats Joshua, as the British heavyweight won’t be able to walk away from the defeat without attempting to avenge it. The purse that Povetkin receives for the rematch against Joshua will likely be much bigger than the one he receives on Saturday.
Other weights for Saturday’s Sky Box Office PPV card:
• David Price 265.4 vs. Sergey Kuzmin 244.9 – Price (22-5, 18 KOs) stood for a prolonged stare down with the unbeaten 31-year-old former Russian amateur star Kuzmin during their face off. This is the last chance saloon for Price and he looked like he was trying to get every edge he possibly could over Kuzmin. Price, 6’8”, needs a victory in the worst way after being knocked out by Povetkin, Christian Hammer and Erkan Teper in the last three years. Price was stopped brutally in the 5th round earlier this year by Povetkin on March 31. Kuzmin (12-0, 9 KOs) doesn’t possess the same pro experience as Price does. This will be a big step up in class for Kuzmin from the opponents his promoters have been matching him against. They’ve been matching Kuzmin like someone who didn’t have an extensive amateur career, which you can argue is wasteful and not helpful for his career. To date, Kuzmin’s toughest fights have been against Amir Mansour, Darnell Wilson and Marcelo Nascimento. Kuzmin surprisingly had problems beating Nascimento. He was forced to go the full eight rounds against him in winning an eight round unanimous decision in June 2015.
• Yvan Mendy 134.5 vs. Luke Campbell 134.4 – Former lightweight world title challenger and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell (18-2, 15 KOs) will be tangling with his former conqueror Yvan Mendy (40-4-1, 19 KOs) in a World Boxing Council lightweight title eliminator. The winner of the Mendy vs. Campbell fight on Saturday will be the mandatory challenger to WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia. There’s a very good chance that the Mendy-Campbell fight will decide the next WBC champion, because it’s believed that Garcia won’t turn to the lightweight division as he goes after a title shot against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Mendy already beat the southpaw Campbell by a 12 round split decision in 2015. Campbell feels that his loss to Mendy was a controversial defeat. Campbell will get a chance to show that he’s the better fighter of the two on Saturday. The scoring of the fight is something to keep an eye on, as this is a home fight for Campbell, which means a lot of the rounds may go his way unless Mendy does something spectacular to win them. You have to believe that if the fight goes to decision, Campbell will be the winner unless Mendy knocks him down three or four times. Hopefully the judges are fair and they don’t taint the fight by turning in a set of scores that make no sense.
• Matty Askin 199.5 vs. Lawrence Okolie 199.25
• Shakhram Giyasov 143.25 vs. Julio Laguna 142