In Russia today on a stacked card we saw drama, a couple of upsets, and knockouts in all seven fights. We also got to see the WBC Silver Heavyweight champion and mandatory challenger to Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, Alexander Povetkin improve his record to (30-1, 22 Kos) when the doctor stopped Mariusz Wach (31-2, 17 Kos) from continuing due to a deep cut under the left eye of the Polish challenger.
Povetkin dominated the fight but was fortunate to get the knockout on his record. Wach was gassed by the 6th round as his punch output, which is never that high took a steep drop. Povetkin was never in trouble or in danger of losing rounds after the 1st, but by watching this fight there was one thing that was far too noticeable in the first few rounds: Povetkin had trouble getting inside and landing consistently.
It seemed as if Povetkin was swinging and missing quite often in the early rounds. Wach actually had a very good 1st round, and when he constantly used his jab he had success keeping Povetkin off him.
By the second half of the fight, Wach was nothing more than a punching bag in the ring who was not willing to throw. Povetkin at that point started to have no trouble landing inside with nice combos, but never severely hurt Wach and never had a sustained attack.
Let’s face it, nobody is going to compare Wach to Wilder, but they are the same height (6’7) and have almost an identical reach (Wach- 82in. Wilder- 83in.) Povetkin did win virtually every round, but if you had Povetkin as the favorite over Wilder headed into this fight, you can not feel better after watching that Povetkin performance.
Povetkin looked troubled for a bit trying to find the range on Wach, and think about this: How many times when Povetkin tried to close the distance on Wach with power punches, did he miss and leave himself wide open? A lot, especially early in the fight when Wach was at least somewhat active on his feet.
If Wach was willing to let his hands go when Alex missed, he may have had a moment. He actually cut Povetkin with a punch at the end of the 4th round. A determined puncher like Wilder would attack the inflicted area repeatedly as soon as he noticed.
The one thing that Povetkin fans will say is that Wach never leaves himself open, and, therefore, it is difficult to land shots on him and Wilder leaves himself wide open and is extremely vulnerable.
Yes, Wilder can be a little “adventurous” to say the least on defense, but even if he does get caught, how big of a puncher is Povetkin? Yes, he has knocked out four in a row since his lone defeat against Wladimir, but who did he knock out?
Charr, who just got knocked out by a blown up cruiserweight, Takam, who he was tied with on the cards late in the fight and has fought obscure opposition in France, and Perez, a guy who I love dearly as a boxer but believe should retire from the sport, he is just not the same guy mentally after what he unintentionally did to Magomed in their fight.
Another fact about all of those guys Povetkin faced is that they are all under 6’4 and are all not the quickest (or lightest) men in the ring. Povetkin against a lengthy athlete like Wilder is a nightmare matchup for him.
Wilder constantly pumping his jab will frustrate the heck out of the former Olympic Gold medalist Povetkin, who is 36 years old. Wilder’s jab can cause damage by itself, and Povetkin will need to somehow avoid those jabs.
It was announced by Team Povetkin before the fight today that they would not be ready for Wilder until April or May of next year. Therefore, Wilder will be granted another voluntary defense, as he should not have to wait that long to fight again while building his brand.
So we will most likely not see Wilder vs. Povetkin for quite some time, but Deontay had to like what he saw from the Russian today. Wilder would land nothing but left hooks on the run, straight right hands, and piston like jabs vs. the Povetkin that was in the ring today vs. Wach.
So go on, let the hate begin about how Povetkin is going to crush Wilder and how Wilder is a bum because you could be right. Povetkin is a stud heavyweight with excellent pedigree who very well may land a thudding shot or two on Wilder that puts him to sleep, sure.
It’s the heavyweight division, anything can happen. Yet, when Vegas comes out with the odds for this fight, Wilder should be the favorite, and Povetkin the underdog: debate away.