FORMER WBC heavyweight title challenger Johann Duhaupas has agreed, at extremely short notice, to face Alexander Povetkin tonight in Russia. With original Povetkin foe Bermane Stiverne opting to fly home after his opponent failed a drugs test, and the WBC subsequently refusing to sanction the bout (originally set to be a WBC interim title fight) Duhaupas, 34-3(21), was approached – quite literally at the eleventh hour – with an offer to take the fight with the Russian star.
Already in Russia and having been training since his April win over Robert Helenius, the 35-year-old agreed to take the fight in what he calls a “crazy decision.”
Duhaupas, who has been stopped only by WBC king Deontay Wilder, took the time to speak briefly with Boxing News about his fight with Povetkin:
Q: You have taken this fight on extremely short notice!
Johann Duhaupas: “Yes, it’s been a crazy decision (laughs)”
Q: You are in shape and have been training since the big win over Helenius in April?
J.D: “Yes, I have continued to train regularly since that fight.”
Q: What would a win over Povetkin mean for you and your career?
J.D: “Beating Povetkin would be enormous because he is ready to fight [tonight] and he has been ready for a long time. I am fighting on short notice of course.”
Q: You gave Wilder a hard night, and afterwards said you wanted a rematch. Does a win over Povetkin tonight get you that rematch?
J.D: “Yes, if I beat Povetkin, I want that rematch with Wilder. But this time I want a normal preparation, with the proper amount of time.”
Q: Do you feel, as Stiverne did, that you need to score a KO in order to beat Povetkin?
J.D: “Yes, yes, certainly.”