Little remains to be said about the talents of WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51 KO), who will enter this bout as the second-longest reigning Heavyweight Champion of all time.
The Ukrainian hasn’t tasted defeat since 2004, and has scarcely been troubled since. In Alexander Povetkin he faces a worthy challenger – unbeaten in 26 fights with 18 knockouts – though it is difficult to argue against the price of 1/9 for a Klitschko victory.
Povetkin is a former Olympic gold medallist, but it would be a surprise if he were to be able to impose himself on the champion in this bout; at 6’ 2” he will be giving up four inches in height to “Dr. Steelhammer”, and six in reach.
Klitschko’s jab is an almost impenetrable obstacle, as British fans will know well after his 2011 fight with the then WBA Champion David Haye – who many thought would pose the 37-year-old problems with his famed speed.
However, it was not to be for the Brit that night, and it is difficult to argue that Povetkin will enjoy any more success. While the Russian deserves respect, he has not been in the ring with anyone approaching the Ukrainian’s quality.
The 34-year-old has never been on the canvas, and how long the fight lasts depends entirely on how he approaches the Ukrainian, who presents something of a Catch-22 scenario to the aspiring world champion.
Perhaps wary of suspicions around his chin earlier in his career, the younger Klitschko is content to box exclusively behind the jab, leaving his opponent with the decision as to whether to come forward and try and fight on the inside, thereby risking walking on to some unforgiving straight lefts, or look to prolong the fight by staying at range – and losing every single round.
Rounds 7-9 is the 7/2 favoured period for the bout to witness the challenger’s demise, which given the styles at play has undeniable appeal.
If the Russian can restrain those urges here he will have a good chance of seeing out the rounds – a victory of sorts. A win on the cards for Klitschko can be taken at 9/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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