THIS past weekend the sport stooped to its lowest point when Alexander Povetkin knocked out Frenchman Johann Duhaupas in six rounds in Russia. Povetkin had been scheduled to take on Bermane Stiverne until it emerged, on the day of the fight, that the former WBA heavyweight champion had failed (another) doping test. The WBC rightly washed their hands with the fighter who they had previously forgiven, took away the Interim title (whether that should have been there in the first place is up for debate), and Stiverne – who himself was found to have a banned substance in his system as recently as November – refused to fight.
In stepped Duhaupas at the last minute, perhaps seduced by a hefty purse and armed with that invincible frame of mind so common in fighters, and he was knocked clean out with sickening authority. Quite what Duhaupas must have been thinking before he entered the ring, goodness only knows, but he certainly lacked the preparation that Rocky Balboa benefitted from when he took on the juiced-up Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. Unfortunately though, this wasn’t the land of make believe. This was one of the grisliest episodes in memory, and any sport publicly embracing a drug cheat is preposterous, but when it’s boxing, it’s like handing a psychopath a knife and sending him on his way.
Duhaupas thankfully woke up after being walloped out of consciousness, and everyone involved should be held accountable for allowing this monstrosity of an event taking place. They won’t be though, because it seems in Russia – particularly in the sporting arena – rules are for wimps.