By Andrew Wake: Russia’s Alexander Povetkin won the ‘regular’ WBA heavyweight title by unanimously outpointing Ruslan Chagaev in Germany on Saturday night.
Povetkin, 31, edged several tight sessions by using a crisp jab and clever in and out movements but the fight nearly turned on its head mid-way through the sixth session.
Chagaev, sensing that a game changer was required, began to load up his heaviest artillery and shook the new champion with a wicked left hook.
The Russian did well to cling on but some choice words in the corner from trainer Teddy Atlas brought him back to life and his sharper punching earned him the spoils down the stretch.
Judges scores were 117-113, 117-113, 116-112.
Quite what this win does to the heavyweight picture is unclear. It is fair to say that Ukrainian giant Wladimir Klitschko is the legitimate WBA kingpin after his one-sided victory over David Haye this summer.
As has been pointed out on this site recently, the WBA seem to make titles up in willy-nilly fashion in order to line their pockets with sanctioning fees from eager promoters. This is surely to the detriment of the sport as it makes a confusing situation to explain to the layman or casual fan.
Surely, this win will be enjoyed by Povetkin and his team but any belief that he is a genuine world heavyweight champion should not be taken seriously until he has toppled one of the Klitschko brothers.