Alexander Povetkin has the heavyweight backing of Russian president Vladimir Putin…

Alexander Povetkin
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
Alexander Povetkin promises 'to bring the battle' to Anthony Joshua

ALEXANDER POVETKIN promises that he has become leaner and meaner as he prepares to challenge Anthony Joshua on Saturday (September 22) for the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.

“It was done deliberately,” he said of his conditioning. “I gained form to box with the best boxer.”

He promises a very different approach to Joseph Parker, Joshua’s last opponent, who boxed conservatively to steer clear of the champion’s power punches. Povetkin in contrast vows to close the gap and work on the inside. “I know that I’m going to go out to the fight, I’m going to bring the battle to him and I’ll do everything I can do,” he warned.

He has not always fared well against taller fighters. David Price gave him some problems last time out and Wladimir Klitschko hurt him, tied him and threw him around in clinches. It was a messy fight but a clear loss for Povetkin in which heavy shots put the Russian down. But Povetkin maintains that that experience will benefit him going into this world title fight.

“I became smarter. I became stronger. I started boxing differently and I basically became better,” he said.
Povetkin has heavyweight backing. His country is behind him including Russia’s notorious president. “We haven’t met yet, but I know he’s going to be rooting and watching the fight,” Povetkin said of Vladimir Putin. “[The fight] is being covered by a lot of media back home and it’s going to create a great presence.”

Alexander Povetkin

In Britain Povetkin still expects equal treatment. He said, “I think everything is going to be fair and they should be judging fair because the fans here they love boxing and they know boxing so I don’t see why anything should not be fair with the judges.”

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