Alexander Povetkin vs. Hughie Fury prediction & analysis
By Doug Berman: Hughie Fury looked good in weighing in on Friday for his co-feature bout against former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin this Saturday night on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, England.
(Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)
The tall 6’6″ Hughie weighed in at a lean 224 pounds, and looked in tip top shape. His opponent Povetkin came in a slightly pudgy looking 226 pounds, which isn’t far away from his normal weight. In looking at Povetkin’s midsection, he seems to have put on a few pounds from his recent bouts.
This is Fury’s shot at proving himself as one of the elite heavyweights in the division, because he’s facing one of the best. Povetkin is ranked #7 WBC & #10 WBA. Hughie’s recent losses to Joseph Parker and Kubrat Pulev has resulted in him getting dropped to #13 with the International Boxing Federation.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) August 30, 2019
Hughie looking to win impressively
Hughie has a number of a defects in his game that make him less than fan friendly, starting with his lack of power. His trainer/father Peter Fury has developed him into a defensive fighter, and he’s not looking like he’s going to improve in that department. Hughie is what he is at this point in his career. He’s going to win his fights by doing just a little bit more than his opponents, and it’ll be ugly.
Fury muddied the water after his loss to former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in 2017, complaining that he should have won. Hughie’s father says he’s going to be throwing 5 to 7 punch combinations against the 39-year-old Povetkin. They’ve obviously seen the success that Anthony Joshua had against Povetkin in throwing combinations, and they’re going to try and duplicate that.
If he loses to Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) on Saturday, then he’ll fall out of the top tier. It would be a disappointment obviously for young Fury, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. At 24, Hughie still has a lot of room to continue to improve. Unlike the top heavyweights, Hughie didn’t have much of an amateur career, and he’s learning as he goes.
Hughie throws an excellent jab, and he can control fights against lesser opposition with that weapon. However, when he’s stepped up against Kubrat Pulev and Parker in fights where he needed more than a jab, he’s lost. Fury’s ability to survive for 12 rounds may be his best asset, because just being in the fight for the duration gives him a chance. But he’ll be looking for more than just a moral victory of lasting 12 rounds against Povetkin on Saturday night. Hughie wants to win, and he’s picked the right time.
Povetkin coming off 11 month layoff
During his prime, former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin was one of the best heavyweights on the planet. Povetkin is trying to remain relevant as someone that can fight for a world title one more time. He cannot afford to lose to Fury if he wants to further his career, because defeat here would be game over for him. There are some guys that Povetkin could lose to, and it wouldn’t destroy his career. Hughie’s not one of them. A loss to him would finish Povetkin’s world title aspirations.
He’s come up short when he’s fought the giant heavyweights Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. At 6’2″, 2004 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist Povetkin was too small to tangle with them. Povetkin hasn’t always lost to the taller fighters. He beat the following giant heavyweights, and looked impressive doing so:
- David Price – 6’8″
- Johann Duhaupas – 6’5″
- Mariusz Wach – 6’7″
- Andrzej Wawrzyk – 6’5″
- Nicolai Firtha – 6’6″
- David Bostice – 6’5″
Hughie is catching Povetkin at the tail end of his career, and with him coming off of an 11-month layoff and a knockout loss to Anthony Joshua. The timing is perfect for Hughie to win this fight by a knockout.
Fury is better than most of the heavyweights on the above list, but he’s not yet shown it. Price and Duhaupas would be tough fights for Hughie, and a lot of boxing fans would pick those guys to beat him. We just don’t know how Hughie will respect when he shares the ring with Povetkin, because it’s such a big step up for him from the guys he’s been fighting.
Hughie’s best wins as a pro have come against these fighters:
- Sam Sexton
- Samuel Peter
- Andriy Rudenko
- George Arias
Povetkin-Fury could end in controversial decision
Given the location for the fight, and the fact that Hughie is signed with Matchroom, he could win a controversial decision. Hughie will be looking to limit Povetkin’s punch output, and jab him from the outside. If the judges have to decide who to pick at the end, Hughie is likely to get the nod. He’s signed with the lead promoter, and he’s got a long future ahead of him still. Povetkin is close to the end, and he has less to lose if his career implodes now. This is a co-feature bout, so it’s important that the judges not make a mess of things by giving the win to the wrong guy.
Povetkin will do enough to win a close 12 round decision. He won’t knock Fury out, because it’ll be difficult to get close to him without being clinched.
Other weights on the card:
- Vasiliy Lomachenko 134.5 vs. Luke Campbell 134.25. This fight is viewed as such a mismatch that a lot of the fans are ignoring it, and focusing more on the Povetkin vs. Fury fight. On paper, that fight appears to be the best on the card by a long shot. At least with the Povetkin-Fury fight, there’s suspense, because boxing fan don’t know who’s going to win for certain.
- Charlie Edwards 111.5 vs. Julio Cesar Martinez 110. This is kind of an interesting match given that Martinez (14-1, 11 KOs) is a big puncher, and he’ll have an advantage in that department.
- Joshua Buatsi 172.5 vs. Ryan Ford 174. This is more of a showcase fight for unbeaten light heavyweight contender Buatsi (11-0, 9 KOs) is heavily favored to destroy Ford (16-4, 11 KOs) in their 10 round fight. This is a showcase fight for Buatsi to look good. His promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing says he sees him as a future world champion, but he’s not yet taken the training wheels off him to test him. Ford has lost 4 out of his last 6 fights, and he’s not going to be able to hang with Buatsi for any length of time.