Povetkin: Last Man Standing

By Ted Sares on June 25, 2015
Povetkin: Last Man Standing
The Dubliner by way of Cuba was promptly put down for good by a fast combination.

In the non-Klitschko sweepstakes, Povetkin has become the last man standing. Now it’s time to become KING OF THE MOUNTAIN…

“He’s on some kind of steroids. But you know, that’s just my opinion. It’s not going to affect me when it’s time to fight and I’m looking forward (to fighting Povetkin). That’s how I feel. That could be the reason why (he dropped Perez so quickly). But we’re not taking anything from him and I can’t wait to be able to put my hands on him.”—Deontay Wilder

“Team Wilder issues media assaults and it’s not reasonable for us to answer their every rant and statement. We need the certain result of negotiations, the certain date. To say that the fight will take place in 2015 or 2016 is plain wrong. Anything can happen before that. Our entire team is ready for any fights possible. We know how to fight any probable opponent.”—Dmitry Ivanov, Povetkin’s manager

“Oh God. Can you believe it? I can’t believe it. Incredible. Amazing.”—Ring announcers reacting to the end of the Botha-Grant fight.

On November 19, 2011, Michael Grant (48-4) faced Frans Botha (48-6-3) for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) Heavyweight title, and while the shine had been taken off their earlier career successes, the winner of this very evenly matched tiff could find himself on at least the lower end of the top mix.

During this thriller, Botha fought well throughout but tired late. All he had to do is hang on for 25 seconds and the fight would be his but then, with just seconds to go in the twelfth and final round and in a fight that the “White Buffalo” was winning on all of the scorecards, he was shockingly knocked out in spectacular fashion by a long Grant right hand. Botha remained on the mat for a lengthy period. The crowd was in disbelief, the announcers were in disbelief, and so was I as I entered this one into my Memory Bank for posterity. It was not LaMotta vs. Dauthuille but it was something close. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lrlme8PE64

Grant then faced Carlos Takam (27-1 at the time) in May 2013 and was stopped in round eight after taking a sustained beating. This same Takam (a French resident by way of Cameroon) had TKOd Frans Botha in March 2012 to win the vacant World Boxing Federation International title.

In January 2014, Takem drew with Mike “The Rebel” Perez (20-0 coming in). Takem had seemingly come out of nowhere to rise to the top tier of the heavyweight division and knew his way around the ring. Having stopped both Botha and Grant and fighting to a draw with Perez in a bout that most observers felt Carlos won handily, the relentless Takem then beat the always tough upset specialist Tony Thompson in France on June 6, 2014, setting up a key fight against Alexander “Sasha” Povetkin (27-1)  in Moscow in October 2014.


As for Povetkin, he has come back after his disastrous encounter with Wladimir Klitschko, and is now riding the crest of momentum with three consecutive knockouts against top contenders or former title challengers.

Sasha knocked out Manuel Charr (then 26-1) in May 2014 in devastating fashion using great foot movement, crunching uppercuts, and solid body work to end the action in round seven. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2vRywLpXg4

Carlos Takam and the broad-shouldered Povetkin with large deltoid muscles had fought an even and thrilling battle through eight rounds with both men having solid moments, but the Russian finally gained control in round nine when he initiated an attack of looping haymakers, most of which missed. Most but not all that is, as he finally connected with a vicious right-left combination, followed up by a right cross that toppled the French resident like he had been sapped. Takam went down into the ropes and survived as the bell rang ending the round. Povetkin immediately resumed his assault in round ten and staggered Takem with another withering right cross followed by a frightening coup de grace left hook that sent his opponent to the canvas unconscious. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALSxXMPxOCw

After sedating Takem with the stunning KO, Sasha met who else but Mike Perez in an eliminator. Perez, 29, was beaten last year by Bryant Jennings in a narrow and somewhat controversial 12-round split decision. Mike looked good early but tired in the second half of the fight.  Perez rebounded from that defeat to defeat 40-year-old journeyman Darnell Wilson by a 2nd round knockout last February.

Perez’s fight with Sasha was punctuated by a strange and scary cadence coming from the pro Povetkin crowd and lasted just over a minute as the powerful 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist with a celebrated amateur career wobbled “The Rebel” with a right and then neatly positioned himself to land a concussive and flush right to Perez’s jaw, staggering him and essentially effecting a standing knockout. However, the usually fighter-friendly referee Massimo Barrovecchio allowed Perez to continue for reasons known only to Massimo and the Dubliner by way of Cuba was promptly put down for good by a fast combination. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhJIYe7WDMU

There you have it.

Michael Grant KOs Frans Botha—November 19, 2011
Carlos Takem stops Botha—March 31, 2012
Takem stops Grant—May 24, 2013
Wladimir Klitschko beats Alexander Povetkin—October 5, 2013
Takem draws with Mike Perez—January 18, 2014
Povetkin KOs Manuel Charr—May 30, 2014
Bryant Jennings beats Perez—July 26, 2014
Povetkin KOs Takem—October 24, 2014
Klitschko beats Jennings—April 25, 2015
Povetkin KOs Perez –June 22, 2015

Bryant Jennings was the previous mandatory challenger but he vacated that status and then lost to Wladimir Klitschko on April 25. Meanwhile, if colorful Tyson Fury takes time out from exchanging tweets with Deontay Wilder, he may be able to get a shot at Klitschko and get that particular pipeline sorted out.

Alexander Povetkin’s pedigree, his more nuanced boxing ability, his new-found resolve, his power, and his superior Ring IQ combine to make him formidable. In the non-Klitschko sweepstakes, Povetkin has become the last man standing. Now it’s time to become KING OF THE MOUNTAIN.

Ted Sares enjoys writing about boxing. He is a member of Ring 4 Boxing Hall of Fame (New England) and a member of Ring 10 (New York). He is one of the oldest active powerlifters in the world and competes throughout North America under the auspices of the RAW, USPA, and the Elite Powerlifting Federations He is the 2014 EPF Nationals Champion in the Grand Masters Class and the 2015 EPF Northeastern Grand Master Champion.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. KB 03:28pm, 06/29/2015

    Got it. Thanks koolz

  2. Koolz 03:09pm, 06/29/2015

    I think it was Louis Ortiz

  3. KB 10:59am, 06/29/2015

    Robert Alfonso?

  4. KB 10:53am, 06/29/2015


  5. Koolz 09:40am, 06/29/2015

    I can’t remember his name.  BoxNation had a lot of great things to say about him and I agree with them after his last fight.
    Serve him to every Heavy Weight in the Division and see them all run.

  6. KB 08:36am, 06/28/2015

    I agree Tex. I hope he is not juicing. I don’t think so. but he is a very strong guy for his size and has monster size shoulders.

  7. Tex Hassler 06:09pm, 06/27/2015

    Povetkin looked extremely powerful and good. Steroids???? Possibly I do not know but he looks very different.

  8. KB 05:05pm, 06/27/2015

    Koolz, which one?

  9. Koolz 07:07am, 06/27/2015

    I love to see Povetkin clean house!
    I see him even beating Wladimir in a rematch.  I can’t wait to see him beat Wilder.
    But did anyone see that Cuban Heavy Weight he is damn impressive!

  10. Big Wally 01:32pm, 06/26/2015

    Nice sequential analysis, Ted. You do that better than just about anyone I know.

  11. KB 10:16am, 06/26/2015

    Maybe, but I’d rather see him fight Fury and shut that monster up once and for all. Bye Bye would be a great match as well, John.

    Thanks John. Pov is going to make one last run and I like his chances,

  12. John aka L.L. Cool John 09:29am, 06/26/2015

    Nice one, Ted! I’d like to see Povetkin v.  Klitschko.

  13. KB 09:25am, 06/26/2015

    Bob doesn’t even respond to me after I asked David Berlin some questions via Boxing.com. In the words of that meaty cop in “The Sweet Smell of Success, “I stand chastised.” But if he knows I’m buying, he will be there fit and ready.

  14. Clarence George 09:20am, 06/26/2015

    I hope that can be arranged, KB.  You should know that ever since I let slip that I’m in fact not listed on the Social Register, my emails to Peter are answered with a frosty “Dear Sir.”

  15. peter 09:11am, 06/26/2015

    @KB Sounds good.

  16. Kid Blast 08:23am, 06/26/2015

    Irish, many of his knockouts are of the Highlight Reel variety in that they are very scary and definitive. His victims fall like Grant Park Protesters being clubbed by bull-necked and burly Chicago cops.

  17. Kid Blast 08:20am, 06/26/2015

    Peter, you and I will have to meet with CG and Bob in NYC for an Egg Cream to discuss your post further. First, before I board the Acela, I must calm down with some Jameson’s.

  18. peter 07:57am, 06/26/2015

    Good article. I don’t see a slow, plodding, predictable Potevkin beating Wilder. Furthermore, Potevkin carries his left hand too low. His best chance is to re-hire Teddy Atlas to work his corner. A Teddy Atlas nullifies the Mark Breland standing in Wilder’s corner…Potevkin on Steroids? Wilder has used more needles than Potevkin will ever see.

  19. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:36am, 06/26/2015

    Sascha came very close to knocking Takam clean out of the ring with a right in the ninth and the KO in the tenth with that hook was a thing of beauty. Both punches getting through Takam’s guard very nicely thank you!

  20. Clarence George 07:28am, 06/26/2015

    Do yourself a favor, KB, and check her out as the “Queen of Sin” in the episode “A Touch of Brimstone.”  Time well spent, I assure you.

  21. Kid Blast 07:21am, 06/26/2015

    Dianna Rig was quite hot in a stern Brit sort of way.
    Requiescat in pace

  22. Clarence George 07:19am, 06/26/2015

    I have little interest in the current heavyweight division, except to occasionally cast a jaundiced eye more or less in its general direction.  But I agree that Povetkin is the guy to beat post-Klitschko.  Which doesn’t mean that he will be beat.  Wilder?  Fury?  I don’t think so.

    I believe you’re a fellow fan, Ted, so with your kind permission:  Requiescat in pace, Patrick Macnee.  How many shows, if any, can be ranked higher than “The Avengers,” at least those episodes with Macnee and Diana Rigg?  Appreciate your forbearance, Ted.

  23. Kid Blast 05:37am, 06/26/2015

    My pleasure Blair

  24. Blair 03:56am, 06/26/2015

    Deontay calling Alexander Povetkin out on steroids? Kind of like the proverbial… (by the way, thanks for the article…I am looking forward to some of these intriguing matchups)

Leave a comment