Povetkin fine with weight difference for Joshua fight

By Boxing News - 09/21/2018 - Comments

Image: Povetkin fine with weight difference for Joshua fight

By Tim Royner: Alexander Povetkin says he doesn’t mind being 23 pounds lighter than heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in their fight this Saturday night. Povetkin weighed in at a light 222 pounds, which is considerably lighter than the 245 pounds that Joshua weighed in at for bout at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

To the average fan, Povetkin smaller size would be construed as a big disadvantage for him, especially considering that he’s a lot older at 39-years-old than the 28-year-old. Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) is used to being the smaller fighter, and he’s not worried in the slightest at being lighter. Povetkin believes he’s going to find a way to make his smaller size work for him. We haven’t see Joshua fight anyone yet where he’s giving away a tremendous amount of weight, power and youth.

If Joshua sticks around long enough in the sport, he may one day face someone bigger than him and considerably younger. But with the money that Joshua is making, he likely will be long gone by the time he’s Povetkin’s age at 39. It’ll depend on how much success Joshua is still having when he gets in his late 30s.

“I am happy about the difference,” Povetkin said to Sky Sports News.

Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) has lost weight from the career-high of 254 pounds that he weighed in a for his fight against Carlos Takam last October. Joshua won that fight by a 10th round knockout, but he looked tired from carrying the weight around. Joshua supposedly was going to drop weight after he had stamina problems in his fight against Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017. Joshua gassed out in that fight in round six and was still tired three rounds later.

Joshua was troubled by how fatigued he was afterwards, and he was supposed to have been working on losing weight. However, something went wrong in Joshua’s training for his fight with Takam, and he ended up at 254 pounds. That fight was a wake-up call for Joshua. In his next fight, he dropped down to 242 pounds for his fight against Joseph Parker last March. Joshua looked a lot better in that fight than he had in his two previous ones.

It’s hard to know how improved Joshua was because the fight was a strange one because of the referee keeping Parker from fighting on the inside. It’s possible that Joshua would have gassed out if he went and brawled with Parker last March. The referee made sure the fight was fought on the outside by his decision to pull Parker away from Joshua each time he tried to fight with him on the inside. That kind of referee would be the worst nightmare for Povetkin because he’s going to need to get close enough to land his shots.

Joshua is a little lighter at 245 pounds, but he’s gassed out at this weight before in the past in his fight against Dillian Whyte in 2015. What this means is Joshua’s stamina is not what it should be when he’s fighting in the 240s. Joshua might need to go back down to the 220s if he wants to fix his stamina problems for good. 240s is not a weight that guarantees that he won’t have stamina issues.

“He’s going to be quick, going to be fast,” Joshua said. “So I’ll put on my dancing shoes and be fast with my feet.”

Joshua will need to be careful by not moving too much on Saturday. Povetkin is good at cutting off the ring on movers, and he’s got a powerful left hook that he’s able to land against guys that run. Joshua should stand and fight Povetkin the way that Wladimir did in 2013, but he might not have the stamina or he chin to do that. Wladimir knew how to fight with the Eastern European style to deal with Povetkin.

Joshua fell apart when he fought Romanian Mihai Nistor during his amateur stays. Nistor ended up stopping Joshua.