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Alexander Povetkin vs. Michael Hunter in the works for Dec.7

Alexander Povetkin Anthony Joshua

By Dean Berman: Alexander Povetkin and Michael Hunter reportedly have an agreement to fight on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. on December 7th in Saudi Arabia. The contract still isn’t signed as of yet, according to Michael Benson, but there’s an agreement in place.

Povetkin vs. Hunter is the planned co-feature bout on the Joshua-Ruiz 2 card. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing will likely match the winner of the Povetkin-Hunter fight up against Joshua at some point in the near future if he beats Ruiz on December 7.

Joshua already defeated Povetkin by a 7th round knockout in September 2018. With that loss, there wouldn’t be as much interest from the boxing public in seeing AJ face the 40-year-old Povetkin again so soon, but that probably won’t stop Hearn from making that match.

Hunter will have the youth advantage

2012 U.S Olympian Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) might have too much youth for Povetkin at this point. Although Hunter hasn’t shown much punching power since moving up from cruiserweight to the heavyweight division in April of 2018, he’s performed well in quickly winning 6 consecutive fights.

Before moving up to heavyweight, Hunter lost a 12 round unanimous decision to former unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in April 2017.

Hunter impressed boxing fans in that fight by getting the better of Usyk with his combination punching, and making it difficult for him with his constant pressure.

Usyk discovered that he couldn’t stay in the trenches and beat Hunter, so he got on his bike and moved for 12 rounds. The fans at ringside disliked Usyk’s failure to stand and fight. They ended up booing him in the second half of the fight when he chose to play it safe.

Hunter looks impressive at heavyweight

Since moving up to heavyweight, Hunter has beaten these fighters:

  • Sergey Kuzmin
  • Fabio Maldonado
  • Alexander Ustinov
  • Martin Bakole Ilunga
  • Iago Kiladze
  • Terrell Jamal Woods

Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) won his last fight in defeating Hughie Fury by a 12 round unanimous decision on August 31 to win the WBA International heavyweight title.

Despite his age, former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin can still punch, and he has much of the same skills that he always possessed during his best year.

Povetkin’s biggest flaws right now is his stamina and obviously size. At 6’2″, 225 lbs, Povetkin is small for a heavyweight. When he’s faced taller guys like the 6’5″ Joshua and 6’6″ Wladimir Klitschko, he was unable to reach them with his shots.

Povetkin and Hunter the same size

Hunter, 6’2″, 221 lbs, is roughly the same height and weight as Povetkin. Although Hunter isn’t the puncher that Povetkin is, he has better stamina, mobility, and he’s the superior combination puncher. If Hunter is able to push a fast pace against Povetkin, then he’ll likely beat him.

In Hunter’s last fight against the big 6’4″, 258 lb Sergey Kuzmin, his lack of lack of size gave him problems against the hard hitting Russian fighter. Hunter was forced to circle the ring, and use an in and out fighting approach to winning the match. Hunter dropped Kuzmin in round 5 with a nice left hand to the head that he never same coming.

The combination punching from Hunter is what gave Kuzmin the biggest problems in that fight. It wasn’t so much Hunter’s power, because he’s not a big puncher, but rather his ability to throw combinations. Most of the big heavyweights aren’t able to deal with getting hit a lot with combinations. They’re used to fighting guys that throw big single shots, which they can defend against.

Hunter might be a better fit for the heavyweight division than both Povetkin and Usyk. To do well at heavyweight, the former cruiserweights need to be able to throw combinations. Usyk can’t do that, and Povetkin has never shown the ability do this either. At times, Povetkin will throw combinations, but then he turns red in the face and needs a breather. Povetkin lacks the engine to fight the way Hunter does.

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