Alexander Povetkin outscores Hughie Fury at the O2 to put himself in position for another world title shot
It was the most intriguing match on the O2 card topped by Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell. Veteran former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin was the favourite with the bookmakers, but the majority of people in the trade felt young contender Hughie Fury would win their battle. Povetkin may not be quite the force of old but had given Anthony Joshua problems last year, while Fury had only lost to Joseph Parker (a very close decision) and to Kubrat Pulev in Bulgaria, after being cut severely early on. It all added up to a genuine 50-50 clash and this was born out by the action itself if not the resulting scorecards which saw Povetkin take a clear victory. Scores were 117-111 across the board.
As expected it was an interesting and competitive clash of styles in the ring, the Russian advancing aggressively behind perpetual head movement winging hooks and uppercuts, with tall, rangy Fury moving constantly, pot-shotting and tying the older man up. The counter-punching employed by languid Fury edged matters in the early stages against a 39-year-old adversary (turns 40 in two days’ time) who was having his first bout in almost a year.
Povetkin enjoyed a dominant fifth, landing big left hooks, but Alexander was blowing by the halfway point of their 12-rounder. Fury was cut above the left eye in the eighth and this appeared to spur Povetkin on, albeit briefly.
While Povetkin proved spirited in spurts, Fury seemed, for the most part, to dictate the pace and style of the fight through the middle portion of the contest, although scores varied widely at ringside. Fury often landed his long right hand as Povetkin came in, but it never deterred his advance. As the contest entered the championship rounds it became increasingly messy but with Povetkin doing more of the sparing clean work.