Joshua vs. Povetkin vs. Wilder

By Robert Ecksel on September 21, 2018
Joshua vs. Povetkin vs. Wilder
Povetkin’s a fairly sophisticated fighter, a heavyweight who can rumble as well as box.

Povetkin was never an A-list fighter and is seven years past his prime, but he is skilled and Joshua will be tested…

Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in Wembley, London, England, Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), the IBF/WBO/WBA/IBO heavyweight champion from Watford, Hertfordshire, UK, will not be fighting WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 38 KOs), the hard-hitting “Bronze Bomber” from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

That fight is the fight most fight fans want to see and there were times when it looked within reach. But Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, determined that AJ’s reach exceeded his grasp, at least for now, so he’ll fight his WBA mandatory, Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs), the former WBA heavyweight champion from Chekhov, Russia.

Povetkin has a good chin. He has never been knocked out. But if Joshua has his way, Povetkin won’t hear the final bell.

At Wednesday’s open workout in London, Joshua was asked to make a prediction about Saturday’s fight.

“Hopefully,” he said, “[I can] take him down in round eight.”

Povetkin’s no pushover. His only defeat was decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko. Povetkin is experienced. He has thudding power. He’s a fairly sophisticated fighter, a heavyweight who can rumble as well as box.

“I’m focused,” Joshua said. “I know how to fight, but the question is what I can take when it comes back?”

Povetkin was never an A-list fighter and is seven years past his prime, but he is skilled and Joshua will be tested.

“I’m completely focused,” Joshua said, “but also focused on having a good scrap and don’t mind coming away with a black eye and a cut nose, because I want to give a bit to take a bit.”

Joshua is spirited. He is growing as a fighter. If he cleans Povetkin’s clock the decision to not fight Wilder will be seen as a stroke of genius.

If he struggles with Povetkin … then anything goes.

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