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Alexander Povetkin vs. Michael Hunter – preview & prediction

Image: Alexander Povetkin vs. Michael Hunter - preview & prediction

By Charles Brun: Next Saturday Alexander Povetkin and Michael Hunter will facing each other in the co-feature bout on the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. 2 card on Saturday, December 7 at the Diriyah Arena, in Diriyah, Arabia. The winner of the Hunter vs. Povetkin fight could soon be challenging for a world title.

This fight could steal the show on Saturday. It’s interesting that a lot of boxing fans are looking passed the Povetkin vs. Hunter fight, thinking only of the main event, but this one could be the best.

There’s a lot of pressure on Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) and Hunter (18-1, 12 KO) to bring some excitement and life to the woefully bad undercard. This arguably the only interesting fight on the undercard, and it could prove to be the best of the night. If Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) blows out Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) again in speedy fashion, then Povetkin vs. Hunter will be the fight that could give boxing fans their money’s worth.

Hunter looking solid for this fight

There are a lot of boxing fans looking forward to this heavyweight clash between 2012 U.S Olympian Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) and 2004 Russian Olympic gold medalist Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs). We’ll have to see if this match lives up to expectations.

There’s a good chance the 40-year-old Povetkin loses this fight, as he’s facing a much younger fighter with speed, mobility and boxing skills going for him in Hunter. 2012 U.S Olympian Hunter is coming off of an impressive 12 round unanimous decision win over previous unbeaten Sergey Kuzmin (15-1, 11 KOs) last September. Kuzmin is a fighter that would likely beat Povetkin. Hunter won by the scores 117-110 x 3.

The only loss that Hunter has suffered was a 12 round unanimous decision to former unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in April 2017. Usyk initially tried to punch with Hunter, but he wasn’t able to match his high work rate. So he got on his bike, and used a hit and move approach to winning the fight.

It was a dull match due to Usyk’s decision to move continuously, and the boxing fans at ringside booed him at the end of the contest. They didn’t appreciate Usyk’s style of fighting, but he had no choice. Hunter was the better fighter when they were exchanging, and Usyk had to use his feet or else he would have lost.  Usyk is popular with UK boxing fans, but in the U.S.

American fans like to see exciting fighters, and Usyk fights with an amateur style that looks more like fencing than fighting.  It’s how amateurs fight, and it’s all about scoring points rather than throwing power punches to entertain fans.

Povetkin hasn’t looked good since 2016

Former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin has looked less than impressive in his last five fights, and he’s starting to show age. Povetkin’s last good victory was a 6th round knockout of former heavyweight world title challenger Johann Duhaupas in December 2016. Since that fight, Povetkin has been knocked out in the 7th round by Joshua last September, and beaten these fighters:

  • Hughie Fury
  • Christian Hammer
  • David Price
  • Andriy Rudenko

Those aren’t great fighters, and it’s pretty clear that Povetkin has been getting matched carefully. None of those guys are true top 10 guys. Although Hughie was given a high ranking by the World Boxing Organization, he had done nothing to deserve it.

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Hunter’s youth, boxing skills, and mobility will be too much for the aging Povetkin to handle on Saturday. Look for Hunter to win a wide 12 round unanimous decision. The scores will likely be in the 117-111 range for Hunter.

Joshua-Ruiz 2 undercard LACKING in competitive fights

Despite Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn talking until he’s blue in the face about how good this card it, the truth is the undercard is mediocre. The only competitive undercard fight is the Povetkin-Hunter match. Judge for yourself.

These are the main undercard fights for Saturday’s Saudi card on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN:

  • Filip Hrgovic vs. Eric Molina
  • Dillian Whyte vs. Mariusz Wach
  • Mahammadrasul Majidov vs. Tom Little
  • Ivan Price vs. Swedi Mohamed
  • Diego Pacheco vs. Levan Shonia

There are some good names on the undercard in terms of the heavyweights, but Hearn has them fighting over-matched opposition. 2016 super heavyweight Olympic bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs) is a good talent, but he’s in there with 37-year-old Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs). That’s not expected to be a competitive fight. Former 2-time world title challenger Molina has lost 2 out of his last 4 fights, and one of those defeats was against Dominic Breazeale.

Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) is taking a stay busy match against former heavyweight world title challenger Wach (35-5 19 KOs) in the 3rd fight from the main event. Given that his is a mismatch, it’s disappointing for such a high profile card. Whyte is a good heavyweight, but there’s no reason for him to be fighting this level of opposition so close to the main event. This fight should be tucked down at the very bottom of the card.

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