Another opponent, another victory for Wladimir Klitschko.
WBA Heavyweight title holder Alexander Povetkin (26-1) was supposed to contend for a lineal championship, but on Saturday in front of a crowd of 14,000 in his home country of Russia, Povetkin failed like previous challengers to Klitschko's heavyweight crown.
Klitschko improved to 61-3 and added Povetkin's WBA title to his mantle by defeating the game Russian via unanimous decision.
Judges Ted Gimza, Glenn Feldman, Philippe Verbeke all scored the fight 119-104.
Klitschko floored Povetkin four times in the fight, three times alone in the seventh round. It seemed like Povetkin wouldn't survive the seventh frame, but his toughness was far beyond what most expected.
Klitschko had this to say about his adversary following the fight, per AFP (via Yahoo! Sports): "That was a tough bit of work, he's a real fighter, I kept landing the punches, but he stayed in there."
Povetkin didn't have many highlights in the fight, but he showed he could take some serious shots and simply refused to quit. Klitschko used some questionable tactics throughout the bout. The champion even pushed Povetkin down on multiple occasions.
What grade would you give Klitschko in this fight?
The tactics may not have entirely dictated the result, but Klitschko's dirty fighting didn't make things any easier for Povetkin. In Klitschko's defense, referee Luis Pabon allowed him to use those type of tactics without penalizing him until the 11th round. Pabon took a point away from Klitschko for shoving Povetkin to the mat for what seemed like the 10th time.
This performance was a winning one, but nothing that will excite the boxing community, or win the champion any fans. Aside from his rule-defying strategies, Klitschko looked fatigued late in the fight. After his barrage in the seventh round, he employed even more pushing and leaning into Povetkin than he had in earlier rounds.
It was clear that Klitschko was spent and just wanted to get through the final round.
Is Klitschko a great champion? Yes, but this fight is a clear example as to why he hasn't endeared himself to many fans in the sport.
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