In Boxing part of the anticipation leading up to a fight for both fan and expert alike is thinking of how a contest between two fighters will play out. Often prior to a fight both fans and experts will attempt to analyze and break down an upcoming fight. Sometimes however, no matter how one may view how a fight might go prior to it taking place, it can ultimately come down to which fighter can land a power punch first.
Such a scenario took place when former world title challenger and longtime Heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin took on fellow top contender Mike Perez on Friday night at the Luzhniki Arena in Moscow, Russia. Prior to this fight, this observer stated that I expected this fight to be very competitive. In reality, the fight ended before it could really get started.
Povetkin staggered Perez with a right hand and knocked Perez down with right hook seconds later. Although Perez was able to beat the count, it appeared that he may not have known where he was and looked to be how on his feet. Povetkin would bring the fight to an end moments later knocking Perez down for the second time forcing Referee Massimo Barrovecchio to stop the fight at 1:31 of the first round.
Although I expected this fight to be competitive, readers over the years have become accustomed to me stating on many occasions “Anything can happen at any given time in the sport of Boxing and that is what makes the sport so great.” In this fight Alexander Povetkin simply saw his opening, took advantage of it, and closed the show. It was as impressive a performance as Povetkin has had in his career thus far.
Even though there is not much that one can say about a fight that lasts only ninety-one seconds, I believe this fight should have been stopped following the first knockdown of Mike Perez. Although Perez deserves all the credit he receives for managing to get up from the knockdown, he appeared to be out on his feet. Furthermore, it also appeared that Referee Massimo Barrovecchio did not ask Perez if he was okay and did not ask him to raise his hands to indicate that he was ready to resume fighting.
Instead, it appeared that Barrovecchio simply motioned for the fight to continue upon Perez making it to his feet. Perez with his arms down at his sides was clearly in no condition to continue and although the fight would end moments later, I believe Barrovecchio made a slight error in judgment by allowing the fight to continue albeit briefly. Barrovecchio however, should be commended for immediately stopping the fight upon the second knockdown.
My slight criticism of Referee Massimo Barrovecchio notwithstanding, it does not in any way take away from Povetkin’s performance. With the victory, Povetkin now moves into the mandatory challenger position in the WBC’s Heavyweight ratings. Povetkin is slated to face the winner of the upcoming WBC World Heavyweight championship fight between undefeated champion Deontay Wilder and WBC number nine rated contender Eric Molina, which will take place on June 13th in Birmingham, Alabama.
Although it would appear that Povetkin will fight the winner of Wilder-Molina in his next fight for the WBC world championship, one should remember that Povetkin, who previously held interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Heavyweight ratings waited over two years to challenge unified IBF/WBO/WBA/IBO world champion Wladimir Klitschko for his title.
It is my hope after what was a devastating knockout of Mike Perez that Povetkin will not have to wait long for his second opportunity at a world championship. It should not be overlooked that Povetkin not only won this fight, but made a statement by winning it in decisive fashion. He deserves to fight for the WBC world championship as soon as possible.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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