IT’S been an awful couple of weeks for boxing but we shouldn’t allow that to stifle our enthusiasm when a decent fight is made (even ones involving performance-enhancing drug cheats).
The latest, at heavyweight, is a fascinating crossroads battle between old warhorse Alexander Povetkin and whippersnapper Hughie Fury, scheduled for August 31 in London.
The Povetkin vs. Fury fight will act as one of the chief support contests to the world lightweight title clash between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell and, on paper at least, is a damn good one.
Fury, 23-2 (13), has so far as a pro shown no aversion to tackling the better heavyweight contenders and continues this attitude here. He boxed Joseph Parker in 2017, back when Parker was undefeated, and then travelled to Bulgaria last October to fight Kubrat Pulev, a Bulgarian. Both fights ended in defeat for Fury but undoubtedly signalled his intent.
Since Pulev, we have watched Fury in a couple of farcical fights, the first against Chris Norrad, the second against Samuel Peter, and it’s now time for him to return to meaningful action. In Povetkin, he gets the opponent he is not only looking for but probably needs at this stage.
“I’m over the moon with this news,” said Fury. “I can’t wait. These are the kind of fights I want to be in. Matchroom can get me these big names and I’m just really looking forward to it.
“Povetkin is a dangerous man. You can’t take anything away from that. He’s not been where he’s been for nothing. It’s a very serious fight but I’m confident of getting the win on the night.
“This fight here represents a massive opportunity. As soon as it was suggested, I said ‘yes’. Povetkin is a completely different level to my last fight and I believe his style will complement mine.”
Povetkin, 34-2 (24), is a former WBA heavyweight titleholder whose big wins are unfortunately undermined by not one but two failed performance-enhancing drug tests.
He is known to UK fight fans for his devastating knockout of Liverpool’s David Price in March 2018 and for then, six months later, giving Anthony Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion at the time, all he could handle before being stopped in the seventh.
Even at the ripe old age of 39 (turns 40 in September), the controversial Russian remains a dangerous, well-schooled puncher and a threat to most in the division.
“Hughie Fury is a young, strong and challenging boxer for me to face,” said Povetkin. “I am glad this fight will take place in the United Kingdom where people really love their boxing. I am anticipating an exciting fight and I look forward to returning to London next month.”
IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington has been open about his desire to unify his belt with fellow champions and one day fight in America, but that doesn’t mean he’s opposed to fighting another Brit later this year.
The Leeds man has defeated the likes of Kid Galahad, Carl Frampton and Lee Selby in IBF title fights and, according to SecondsOut.com, wouldn’t mind adding the name of Scott Quigg to that impressive list.
Quigg, a former WBA super-bantamweight champion, has reportedly been “sounded out” about the possibility of fighting Warrington in October but a source close to the situation revealed to SecondsOut that the timing isn’t ideal for the Bury man.
Quigg, of course, was injured in sparring before a scheduled clash with Jayson Velez in April and required an operation on a torn bicep tendon. Though now back in light training, this injury and operation means Quigg isn’t yet ready to fight, let alone challenge a rampaging champion like Warrington.
“He was offered Josh Warrington for October, but it is too soon for him,” the source told SO. “They [Warrington’s promotional team] were putting out the initial feelers, asking who managed Scott etc – he is self-managed – and would he be interested in Josh in October.
“Scott said: ‘I’m definitely interested but my arm is still not repaired.’ There has also been talk of Scott fighting [IBF champion] Tevin Farmer at super-feather.”
Safe to say, when the time is right, Scott Quigg won’t be searching too hard for suitors.