The heavyweight scene, as seen through the eyes of the US fight fan, is two-day-old bagel stale. One of the Klitschkos fights on Dec. 10 against another guy with no chance.
OK, sorry for the flippancy there. But I couldn’t be much less enthused about WBO-IBF-WBA champion Wladimir Klitschko’s clash against Jean-Marc Mormeck in Dusseldorf on the tenth. I see Mormeck, a 39-year-old Frenchman, as having as much chance against Klitschko as Kim Kardashian does landing a relationship advice talk show. He’s fought three times in four years, and his last outing came a year ago, a split decision win against Timur Ibragimov.
There is a bit more interest in Alexander Povetkin, who holds a junior WBA title, and his tussle Saturday. He takes on Cedric Boswell in Finland, and EPIX will show the scrap, kicking off their programming at 3:30 PM ET. Anyone tired of the Klitschko stranglehold on the division is looking hopefully at the 32-year-old Russian Povetkin, who is cornered by Teddy Atlas, the super-intense guru who also works as an ESPN analyst. Freddie Roach will help call the action, which includes a showdown between another potential Klitschko-killer, Robert Helenius, who meets Dereck Chisora.
I asked Roach on a Tuesday phoner if he gives Boswell much of a chance to beat Povetkin. “Povetkin is a favorite,” the Hollywood-based trainer to manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan said. “Boswell has 35 wins but that’s over a long period of time. He’s been sporadic. His best win is maybe Oliver McCall last March. Povetkin has been busier and was a great amateur. So, Povetkin is favored a little bit more than a little bit.”
There is some buzz on Helenius, a Swede based in Finland who downed Sergei Liakhovich (TKO9) in August. I asked Roach who he thinks is the best heavyweight among the top four on the card. “I like Povetkin,” he said. “We wonder if he can step up and beat a Klitschko. Everyone’s waiting to see. He’s getting close to that test.
I trained Wladimir for four fights, and Vitali for one. They’re great athletes, they’re the hardest working heavies I’ve seen. I don’t think anyone on planet beats them.”