Unfortunately for Asia the key fight went against our adoptive fighter as Russian Alexander Povetkin (26-1,18) lost for the first time in his professional career. Battling for the WBA, WBO, IBF and "Ring" Heavyweight titles Povetkin was thoroughly defeated by Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51) who took a clear unanimous decision.
Povetkin, expected by many to be stopped early, gave a brave effort but had little answer to Klitschko's jab or natural strength. In fact it was the strength, just as much as the skill of Klitschko that contributed to the score cards with the Ukrainian seemingly pushing Povetkin to the canvas several times to score knockdowns. Even with out the knockdowns however it would be hard to make a case for Povetkin winning who used the wrong tactics and looked very much like a brave but second rate fighter.
On the undercard of the Klitschko/Povetkin, we saw the successful return to the ring of recent world title challenger Rakhim Chakhkiev (17-1, 13). Chakhkiev, fighting for the first time since losing to Poland's Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in a WBC world title fight, successfully stopped Romanian Giulian Ilie (20-7-2, 6) in the 10th round following a very controlled performance.
Also on the big card in Russia was former Heavyweight title holder Ruslan Chagaev (32-2-1, 20). Weighing in at a portly 250lbs Chagaev looked a shadow of his former self though did more than enough to beat Jovo Pudar (30-4, 17) who was dropped in rounds 3 and 8. Pudar, who was highly ranked by the WBA struggled to win a round against the talented, yet chubby looking, Chagaev who seems likely to be looking for a WBA World title fight somewhere down the line.
In a second Cruiserweight bout on the Russian show. Grigory Drozd (37-1, 26) claimed the European title via an 11th round TKO victory over Poland's previously unbeaten Mateusz Masternak (30-1, 22). The match, which was very evenly matched on paper, saw Masternak suffer a nasty cut in the second round before slowly being ground down by the talented Russian. We'd not be shocked at a rematch somewhere down the line though for now Drozd is likely to be eying up a world title fight.
We also had Asian action in the US in two separate bouts. The first of those saw Vietnam's Dat Nguyen (17-3, 6) coming up narrowly short against unbeaten Puerto Rican Jayson Velez (21-0, 15). Nguyen scored a standing count against Velez but couldn't quite cope down the stretch, though did put on a solid effort in defeat.
In the second bout stateside Andrey Klimov (16-1, 8) was thoroughly outclassed by fast rising American Terence Crawford (22-0, 16). The bout wasn't particularly exciting as Klimov looked out classed from the opening round and never managed to have any success of note. Whilst Nguyen put on a brave performance in losing Klimov really didn't do much en route to dropping a very wide decision.
Although tne most notable action in Asia was in Russia there was a second card of note occuring in the East.
This other card was in Japan and headlined by Yoshitaka Kato (26-4, 7) taking a hard fought victory over Filipino Rey Labao (24-5, 16) to defend his OPBF Lightweight title. Kato was genuinely given a hard battle and whilst he was a a fair winner he was certainly given a harder than expected night at the office.
The co-feature in Japan was a second title bout as Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (19-1, 7) clearly out pointed the limited Cobra Suwa (12-11-2, 5). Hopefully Takayama will defend his title against a more noteworthy opponent next time out as this was a mismatch from the moment it was made.
Kato and Takayama weren't the only notable names on the card as former OPBF champion Yukinori Oguni (11-1, 2), returning to the ring for the first time since being stopped by Shingo Wake, managed to over come Yuki Iwasaki (11-4, 6).
In the other bouts on the card Takenori Ohashi (11-3, 7) overcame Kenta Takahashi (10-7-2, 3), Masayuki Ichikawa (2-0, 1) defeated Takashi Yamaguchi (1-2) and the debuting Wataru Takeda (0-0-1) fought to a draw with Ryuhei Takahashi (0-1-1).