September 18, 2018
September 18, 2018
Alexander Povetkin

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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ALEXANDER POVETKIN will become Anthony Joshua’s latest challenger when he fights the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion on Saturday at Wembley Stadium.

Here, Press Association Sport explores five things about the 39-year-old Russian.

Another golden great

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin – Press Conference – Wembley Stadium
Alexander Povetkin has an Olympic gold medal (John Walton/PA)

Like Joshua, Povetkin is an Olympic gold medallist. He became the super-heavyweight champion at the 2004 Games in Athens and, like Joshua, when he fought Carlos Takam — in October 2014 — he won via a 10th-round stoppage.

Cashing in

Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko – Wembley Stadium
Wladimir Klitschko is the only man to beat Povetkin in a pro fight (Nick Potts/PA)

He also became Russia’s highest-paid fighter when, in 2013, the winning purse bid for his clash with Wladimir Klitschko was a remarkable $23,233,330 (£17,841,489). He was dropped four times before he lost via a unanimous decision; that defeat remains the only one he has experienced as a professional.

PED issues in the past

Olympics Drugs Test
Povetkin served a ban (Johnny Green/PA)

He twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2016, costing him fights with reigning WBC champion Deontay Wilder and former champion Bermane Stiverne. He had tested positive for meldonium, and served a ban with the sanctioning body, who also fined him $250,000 (£191,966).

A fighter with a kick

Boxing – Principality Stadium
Povetkin does not just impress in the ring (Nick Potts/PA)

Povetkin is also an accomplished kick-boxer. He won the world junior title in 1997, the world senior title in 1999, and the European title in 2000.

Pals with Putin

Salisbury incident
Vladimir Putin and Alexander Povetkin are friends (Nick Potts/PA)

As an amateur, Povetkin trained alongside Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, who has a black belt in judo, and they remain friends. He lost only seven of his 132 amateur fights, and avenged each of those defeats.