Wladimir Klitschko is under pressure to fight Alexander Povetkin in a mandatory title defense.
Klitschko (59-3-0) is the WBA super heavyweight champion. Povetkin (25-0-0) is the WBA regular heavyweight champion, and that organization has ordered that a fight between Klitschko and Povetkin must take place by Feb. 26 (source: WBAnews.com).
According to the WBA website, Klitschko's people had agreed to the mandatory defense before Klitschko fought and defeated David Haye in a unanimous decision in July 2011.
The WBA said that Klitschko agreed to fight the winner of the fight between Povetkin and Ruslan Chagaev. Those two fought in August 2011, and Povetkin won a unanimous decision.
The WBA claims that negotiations between Klitschko and Povetkin are under way, but the organization says it will strip Klitschko of its super heavyweight crown if the fight does not take place by Feb. 26 (source: BoxingNews24.com).
Bernd Boente, Klitschko's manager, acknowledged that the fighter is obligated to fight Povetkin, but he is disputing the date of the fight. Boente believes that Klitschko has until July to make that fight.
However, that should not be a huge issue. If you can fight an opponent in July, you can fight him in late February.
Klitschko has no reason to dispute or avoid the fight, so he might as well do it right away.
Logically, a fighter may avoid an opponent when he has reason to think that he may be in danger of losing a particular fight.
That's obviously not the case in this matchup. Klitschko appears to have all the edges on Povetkin, and the only realistic way for Klitschko to lose would be if he got hit with a stunning knockout punch or a quick combination.
Klitschko is bigger, stronger and tougher and has more skill and experience.
Klitschko and Povetkin were scheduled to fight twice before, but neither fight ever came off.
A 2008 fight was canceled when Povetkin injured his foot while training.
A 2010 fight had been agreed to, but Povetkin's trainer convinced his fighter that he was not prepared for the fight.
Klitschko has had a very active year in 2012. He was 3-0 with knockout victories over Jean Marc Mormeck and Tony Thompson (TKO). He also registered a unanimous one-sided decision over Mariusz Wach.
Povetkin was not as active as Klitschko. He fought twice in 2012, registering a majority decision over Marco Huck and a TKO over 40-year-old Hasim Rahman.
Klitschko may not like the idea of being forced to fight an opponent like Povetkin, but he agreed to do it in 2011. He should live up to his pledge.
The reality of the situation is that Klitschko should not have any kind of problem with Povetkin—despite the fighter's undefeated record—and he might as well take care of his business as soon as possible.