Alexander Povetkin blasts Perez in one, is Deontay Wilder next? (Video)Written by Joseph Herron
On Friday, May 22, in Moscow, Russia, former WBA Heavyweight belt holder Alexander Povetkin (29-1, 21 KOs) stopped highly ranked contender Mike Perez (21-2-1, 13 KOs) just a minute and a half into their scheduled twelve round, WBC eliminator contest.
The Cuban southpaw was initially hurt with a “Sasha” straight right hand during the second minute of the prizefight, and ultimately leveled with a short, compact shot to the chin shortly thereafter. Although Perez was able to beat referee Massimo Barrovecchio’s count, the visiting pugilist was ostensibly unable to continue fighting. The third man in the ring officially called a halt to the bout at the 1:31 mark of the opening stanza.
With the impressive, first round TKO victory, the 35 year old Russian native earned the right to challenge newly crowned WBC champion Deontay Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs), subsequent to the Alabama native’s voluntary title defense against Eric Molina on June 13.
And while most fight fans and boxing scribes will anxiously await the terrific match-up, Klitschko head trainer Johnathon Banks advises every interested party not to hold their breath before the fight becomes a reality.
Boxing enthusiasts could be waiting a very long time for this bout to materialize, according to the insightful Heavyweight contender.
“Although this is a great match-up, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t take place any time soon,” states the Detroit, Michigan based fighter. “I can’t see the current WBC Heavyweight title holder defending his title abroad, and I definitely don’t see the challenger fighting outside of Russia in the near future.”
Since inking a three-year promotional deal with influential Russian businessman Andrei Ryabinsky in February of 2014, the former Olympic Gold Medalist has done quite well for himself, competing exclusively in Moscow, Russia.
Banks doesn’t see the former WBA champion’s current situation changing for an opportunity to face Deontay Wilder.
“Povetkin and Ryabinsky didn’t even want to go to Germany to face Wladimir Klitschko in 2013,” professes the knowledgeable, young boxing coach.
“And he was the universally recognized Heavyweight Champion. Wladimir was the overwhelming A-side in the match-up, and they still didn’t want to concede.”
“They basically made Wladimir an offer he couldn’t refuse, and put down over $20 million to secure venue rights for that fight. So I just can’t see them agreeing to travel to the United States to face Deontay Wilder anytime soon.”
In April of 2013, the Russian mogul made a purse bid of $23,233,330 to host the Klitschko/Povetkin Heavyweight showdown at “Olimpyskiy” Stadium in Moscow, Russia, virtually tripling the purse bid offered by K2 Promotions.
So if history repeats itself, and Team Povetkin throws down another absurd amount of money to secure a WBC title fight in Sasha’s homeland, would the current champ be willing to defend his title on foreign soil?
Johnathon doesn’t see that scenario playing out either.
“I can’t see Wilder’s people agreeing to a title defense in Moscow…especially against a fighter like Alexander Povetkin,” claims Mr. Banks. “It’s a great Heavyweight fight…I just don’t see it happening.”
Would Deontay elect to ditch the WBC title before agreeing to face the hard punching, Russian native in his home country? Or would Povetkin’s people be willing to travel to the US for shot at Wilder’s coveted distinction?
The Heavyweight drama will inevitably unfold within the next several months.