THE heavyweight life hack, circa 2018, is this: come into contact with Anthony Joshua, he of the heavyweight Midas Touch, and you’ve pretty much made it. Financially, you’ll be set for life, your profile will be enhanced considerably, and, what’s more, there’s every chance you’ll receive follow-up opportunities as a result.
Dillian Whyte has benefited from the Joshua touch, so too has Joseph Parker, and now it seems Alexander Povetkin, the controversial Russian stopped in seven rounds by Joshua in September, could be about to receive a lucrative reward for a valiant performance as an AJ B-side at Wembley Stadium.
According to a video message posted to the World of Boxing Twitter account, Povetkin, a former WBA heavyweight champion, might get an invite back to London, England next year.
“I have a desire to keep on,” Povetkin said. “(I’m) in good shape, in good mood. I’m not going to stop. I will have a bout, most likely in April in London, I don’t know with whom yet. It is hard to say how many more I’ll have. Depends on my mood. Until now, I have it.”
Povetkin: I have a desire to keep on✊🏻
🗣 In good shape, in good mood. I'm not going to stop. I will have a bout, most likely in April in London, I don't know with whom yet. It is hard to say how many more I'll have. Depends on my mood. Untill now I have it. @Ryabinskiy pic.twitter.com/KtPJ3SOaIo
— World of Boxing Rus (@worldofbox) October 17, 2018
Though 39 years of age and nearing the end of a 13-year career, Povetkin gave Joshua plenty of problems when the pair met last month and clearly still has something to offer.
To the surprise of some, he rattled the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion in the opening rounds, confusing him with head movement and combination punching, before Joshua got to grips with him after the halfway mark and finished matters in round eight.
On reflection, it was a standout win for Joshua, arguably the second best of his career, and Povetkin no doubt showed enough to warrant another big fight at some point next year.
As for the identity of a potential April opponent, that remains to be seen, though it would be remiss of me not to mention the fact there are several British heavyweights who would presumably be more than happy to fight Joshua leftovers in order to perhaps one day force a fight with the man himself.
Povetkin, 34-2 (24), is a threat, no question, but that won’t stop a bevy of British heavyweights volunteering for a Wembley showcase next year.
Fifteen years ago, Scott Harrison was one of the best featherweights on the planet. As WBO champion, and a former British and Commonwealth champion, he was renowned for his physically imposing style, relentless work rate and granite chin. Hard to deter, he managed, during two reigns as WBO champion, to defeat the likes of Manuel Medina, Julio Pablo Chacon, Wayne McCullough and Walter Estrada.
Then, in 2006, it all went wrong.
Forget opponents and title defences, Harrison’s struggles now had more to do with the demons in his head. Initially, there were reports of scraps in nightclubs, as well as depression and alcohol problems for which he checked into the Priory Clinic. After that, he was jailed for eight months in 2008 for drink-driving and assault, released after four, and then, in 2009, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison for an assault in Malaga, Spain. He served five months on remand.
There was a brief return to the ring in 2012, after seven years away from boxing, but two warm-up fights culminated in a defeat to Liam Walsh in a WBO European lightweight title fight and that was that.
Worse than a third career defeat, in 2012, Harrison was sentenced to four years in prison for another assault in Malaga. He served three of the four years and was released in July.
Now back home in Scotland, the fighter known as ‘The Real McCoy’ is launching a comeback at the age of 41, with sights set on regaining a world title, The Herald reports.
“The goal is to win the world title again,” said Harrison, who has been granted a licence from the British and Irish Boxing Authority after being denied one by the British Boxing Board of Control.
“I have definitely got unfinished business. One minute you are at the top of the game and the next minute you have lost your license. It is a bit hard to take.
“I am in the gym five days a week and train three times per day.
“I am very focused on being world champion again and I wouldn’t bet against me.
“I think it is my time again. I believe that. I am very motivated, focused and determined to win a world title again.
“Everyone knows what happened to my career, but you try to look to the future, not the past.
“This is me back and looking forward to the future and hopefully finish off my career on a high.
“I feel good in sparring, doing my roadwork and shadow boxing. I feel very capable of winning the title again.”
Harrison’s first fight for over five years will take place at Glasgow Club Bellahouston in Glasgow on December 8, with an opponent to be named within a week.
It will be different this time, he says.
“It was not ideal preparation,” is Harrison’s assessment of his last fight against Liam Walsh. “I had an extradition case hanging over me and I had only two-and-a-half weeks’ notice for the fight.
“I was in the jail Saturday, Sunday and Monday and boxed Saturday night.
“I still thought I won the fight but take all that into consideration.
“This time I will focus on boxing 100 per cent.”
Even in his prime, Harrison was never the sort of fighter blessed with the ability to make a fight look easy. The ones he won well, for example, the ones in which he impressed, were still tough old slogs, and often he had to dig deep to secure victory. He huffed and he puffed and he tended to outlast the competition. Everything was graft, a grind, but he was built for it. It was the only way he knew.
Now, of course, the same could be said for the ups and downs of his 22-year pro career. Having made hard work of it, he’s still going at 41. Still coming forward. Still trying to make something happen. Still fighting an uphill battle.