Courtesy of Ya-number1
Russian Heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (25-0, 17) looks to make the 4th defence of his WBA title this Friday as he takes on unbeaten Pole Andrzej Wawrzyk (27-0, 13).
Povetkin, pictured opposite, was a former amateur standout that many singled out to be the successor to the Klitschko brothers. His successes in the unpaid ranks included both World and Olympic gold medals and well over 120 wins from just over 130 bouts.
In his early professional career the Russian really did race off to a great professional start and beat numerous talented fighters. In all honesty his rise through the ranks really did send shock waves through the division as he blazed through solid opponents.
Sadly after an electric start to his career Povetkin's development started to slow down drastically as he had various issues including a change in trainer (to Teddy Atlas) and injuries that helped prevent a fight with Wladimir Klitschko. Despite those issues however Povetkin has claimed the WBA title and made 3 defenses of it as he's tried to prove that he's the #3 Heavyweight on the planet.
With victories over Larry Donald, Chris Byrd, Eddie Chambers, Ruslan Chagaev and Marco Huck we've certainly seen Povetkin in with talented opponents though we've also seen plenty of issues with the talented fighter. Against Huck it was obvious that Povetkin's stamina isn't great and his punch resistance whilst solid is unspectacular. Offensively he's a hurtful puncher with surprising hand speed though he's certainly not a banger and his record certainly makes him look like a harder puncher than he really is.
With Povetkin's undoubted resume being very impressive it's a bit of a shock that he is given the slating he gets on forums but much of that is due to the hype he got early in his career as a "Klitschko Killer". It appears that we could well see Povetkin v Klitschko, if, Povetkin gets beyond Wawrzyk here.
As the challenger Wawrzyk is a sizable under-dog, though this means he's fighting as a fighter with nothing to lose. His record, whilst containing an "0" in the L column is certainly worth risking for this massive opportunity and with many dismissing him already there is a case Povetkin could actually be over-looking him.
Aged 25 the Pole hasn't had a breath taking career so far. He's been a professional since 2006 though lacks any sort of notable win on the world stage with his better wins being over fringe European level guys like Denis Bakhtov. In all honesty it was the victory over Bakhtov that told us a lot about Wawrzyk, notably that he has heart though not the greatest punch resistance and the fact he was hurt several times by Bahktov, doesn't bode well here.
Technically Wawrzyk is "decent" but nothing spectacular, he makes some pretty basic mistakes, and has a lazy looking jab that is there to countered. With those two issues it's actually quite easy to see a Povetkin win quite early in the bout with his sharp straight right. If Wawrzyk has tightened up defensively he could give Povetkin some worries though in all honesty it's hard to see how the challenger could score the upset. It's obvious that he can't out boxing and also pretty clear that he hasn't the power to take advantage of Povetkin's questionable chin.
It's genuinely difficult here to see anything but a Povetkin win, sure upsets happen but a Wawrzyk win here would be amongst the biggest upsets of the year.
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