Assuming the projected Alexander Povetkin vs Michael Hunter fight happens, Danny Flexen believes the victor deserves a chance
Eddie Hearn revealed earlier this week several of the fights he is targeting for the Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua 2 card in Saudi Arabia on December 7. Arguably the most intriguing of these projected clashes pits world-level heavyweights in Alexander Povetkin and Michael Hunter. This fight, if it takes place, could yet be some kind of eliminator but even if it is not I would find it hard to deny the winner deserves a world title opportunity.
In a competitive heavyweight era - certainly beneath the consensus big four - Hunter and Povetkin are in the top 10. The aggressive Russian veteran returned in August following nearly a year out after giving then-unified king Joshua problems before tiring and being overpowered. In his comeback, Povetkin outworked fringe contender Hughie Fury on away turf to prove he still has something to offer at a higher level.
While 40-year-old Povetkin enjoys the autumn of a career that once saw him reign as WBA champion, Hunter is nine years younger and with his best years likely still ahead of him. The mobile, fast-handed American is riding a six-fight winning run since moving up from cruiserweight. This includes victories over touted prospects in Martin Bakole and, most recently earlier this month, Sergey Kuzmin, Povetkin’s countryman. Hunter has lost only to the imperious Oleksandr Usyk down at 200lbs.
This is a potential showdown which would match heavyweights of a similar standing with styles that should mesh for an exciting spectacle. It would also provide one of the pair with the standout result on their recent ledger to propel them to a tilt at a world title. Let’s hope Hearn gets this one over the line.