By Danny Winterbottom
WBA regular heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (16st 5lbs) feasted on the corpse of once dangerous American Hasim Rahman (18st 4lbs) in two horribly one sided rounds inside the Sportshalle in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday September 29.
Rahman, 39, looked unsteady on his feet even before he took a punch from the undefeated Russian and things only got worse when the bell rang for the man who sensationally starched Lennox Lewis in South Africa eleven years ago.
33-year-old Povetkin looked fortunate to retain his title last time out in February when he was pushed to the very limit by the ferocious attacks of cruiserweight champion Marko Huck before taking a majority verdict over the championship distance. But it became apparent early on that Rahman wouldn’t pose any kind of threat to the Kostya Tsyzu trained man as his slow and crude attacks were easily avoided.
The first punch of quality from the champion exposed Rahman’s non-existent balance as a clubbing right knocked him sideways in the opener. In blind hope that he could re-create his knockout of Lewis all those years ago Rahman was loading up on every punch but missing badly.
When Povetkin popped him with a jab from the outside Rahman couldn’t let his punches go quick enough to land a counter as the much sharper champion was able to do as he pleased.
Mid-way through the second round a well delivered Povetkin left hook made Rahman’s legs do a silly dance. Sensing a chance to end the charade early Povetkin let his hands go with Rahman defenceless on the ropes. Referee Gustavo Padilla unbelievably allowed Rahman to take a hammering, even splitting the pair momentarily, only to let the massacre resume until a final left hook spelled the end at 1m 46 seconds of the round.
Povetkin improves to 25-0 (17) and Rahman, who must consider retirement after a long
career, falls to 50-8 (41)
In a WBA Inter-continental light middleweight contest prior to the main event Heywood’s Mark Thompson (10st 13lbs) boxed to orders for four rounds behind a stiff jab before a piece of inept officiating by Polish referee Leszek Jankowiak handed victory to German based Ecuadorian prospect Jack Culcay (10st 13lbs).
Thompson came into the bout as a big underdog against a man promoters Sauerland have high hopes for but from the off the Lancastrian was sharp and worked well to establish his jab early and take the centre of the ring. Culcay is relatively short for a 154lb fighter and was having trouble coping with the rangier Thompson’s stick.
When “Golden Jack” puts his punches together he does so in a manner that suggests he has some talent but in Thompson he found a man who was competing on a level playing field.
In the opener Culcay, 27 was on a recognisance mission as he had a good look at what Thompson brought to the contest as he circled the ring. When he stopped he posed and postured rather than punched, as Thompson got on with it and fired a sharp jab from range.
Culcay landed a nicely timed right hand lead over the Thompson jab in round two that caused the challenger to hold. However, Thompson fired right back and forced the home favourite to the ropes before Culcay showed his class with two left hooks to the chin to get free of trouble.
In the third Culcay looked to up the pace as Thompson’s jab was controlling the action. A mean left from the champion hurt the Britain as suddenly Culcay burst into life. Thompson responded towards the end of the round with a flurry of his own.
In what ultimately proved to be the fifth and final round Thompson boxed well behind his jab before a burst of punches from Culcay drove him to the ropes. Thompson was hurt but many of Culcay’s shots were hitting arms as he unloaded his clip into the challenger. Suddenly a right uppercut pierced the guard of Thompson and Mr Jankowiak jumped in to stop the contest, much to the dismay of the challenger and the German crowd. It was a poor decision and one that Thompson didn’t deserve after boxing nicely for four and a half rounds.
In the other heavyweight contest on the bill, Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev (17st 11lbs) inflicted a sustained, 11 round beating upon Alexander Ustinov (21st 11lbs) in a battle of unbeaten heavyweights. At stake were Pulev’s European title and the IBF international trinket that also served as an eliminator for that governing body’s number one position.