Povetkin Becomes Mandatory Challenger to Joshua
Alexander Povetkin defeated Christian Hammer via unanimous decision on Friday night, and as a result, he has been given mandatory challenger status by the WBA to its heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua.
While the fight between Povetkin and Hammer looked even going into the bout, Povetkin ended up being the fighter who provided most of the action, while Hammer was more cautious.
That ended up backfiring on Hammer, as Povetkin forced him to eat many punches, while Hammer did not do anything noteworthy until the second half of the fight. Hammer’s strategy was to stay guarded near the ropes, but his firing back was slow and a noticeable amount of his punches went off-course.
Povetkin, meanwhile, was a true ring general, moving around, mixing up his punches in combinations, and simply overwhelming the Romanian fighter.
All three judges scored the bout in Povetkin’s favor, 120-107, 120-108, and 119-108.
Following Povetkin’s win, the WBA released the following statement to Boxing Scene:
Povetkin became the number one challenger to Anthony Joshua, current World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight super champion. Povetkin faced and defeated Christian Hammer. Thus, according to the previous resolution issued by the WBA Championships Committee that indicated that this would be an elimination fight for the super championship, Povetkin has the opportunity to challenge Joshua.
Joshua is currently in negotiations for a potential WBA/IBF/WBO title unification bout with WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker. Povetkin, however, could provide the challenge to Joshua in the event negotiations fall through.