Danny Flexen enjoys a brief chat with Alexander Povetkin, ahead of the Russian’s crossroads clash with Hughie Fury later this month
He is a man of few words – especially outside of his native tongue – but when Russia’s former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin talks, it is wise to listen. Bear in mind that the 39-year-old has lost only to a peak Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua in a 14-year career, and that only the latter was able to finish him inside the scheduled distance. He remains, on merit, one of the top heavyweights in the world and it says a great deal about Povetkin’s enduring ambition that despite only being offered a fight with Hughie Fury in late July for August 31, he leapt at the opportunity.
“I was supposed to fight David Allen in case he won over David Price,” Povetkin confirmed, exclusively to Seconds Out. “I then got the proposal to fight Fury one month before the fight and I approved it immediately! I don’t think there is a right or wrong opponent, he is just the opponent that satisfied me! In the ring I will demonstrate everything.”
That is an ominous declaration, given it was less than a year ago that Povetkin caused Joshua problems early on at Wembley Stadium, perhaps exposing flaws that Andy Ruiz Jr would full capitalise on nine months later. Before that he had recovered from a judged knockdown to wallop David Price, who would of course scupper Povetkin vs Allen with a masterclass of his own last month.
Povetkin is training intensely for Fury, who he respects immensely, but it is clear, even during our brief chat, that the ambition of old still burns strongly within the Russian.
“I don’t like to make any plans before I do my job,” he responds, regarding future goals. “If it goes successfully, we will discuss next steps. It will be an interesting and exciting fight because Fury is a young and powerful boxer. But one thing I can tell you, I will continue fighting until my eyes are burning or until I have such a wish to retire.