What were those oddsmakers, and more directly, what were all those putting money on Alexander Povetkin to help move the line, thinking? Wladimir Klitschko dominated Alexander Povetkin in the main event which unfolded Saturday night in Moscow to the degree that it made one wonder how he wasn’t a massive favorite, not that 3 to 1 fave on many boards. Wlad fought smart, it could be argued, clinching when he had to, which was too frequently for watchers. A left hook dropped Povetkin in the second, three times in the seventh, and once unofficially in the ninth. Klitschko didn’t build his rep or buzz considering he resorted to clinching multiple times every round, draping himself on Povetkin like a shawl, but he did get the nod on the scorecards, by scores of 119-104 times three.
Ref Luis Pabon drew scorn on social media for not reining in the clinchfest, rightly so.
Klitschko is second, behind Joe Louis, in length of holding the heavyweight title, at 7 years. Louis held the crown for 11 years.
HBO’s Max Kellerman said he thinks Wlad is just below the top tier of alltime heavies, beneath Ali, Louis, Dempset et al.
The WBA super, IBF and WBO champ Wlad won Olympic gold in 1996. The WBA world champ Povetkin won Olympic gold for Russia in 2004. He came into the bout never having been knocked down. At 6-6, the Ukrainian Wlad had four inches on the Russian. Wlad was 242 to 226 at the weigh in for Povetkin.
Jonathan Banks, an Emanuel Steward protege, cornered Wlad. This was his third time in that role, since Steward died.
Ted Gimza, Phil Verbeek and Glenn Feldman judged, Luis Pabon reffed.In the first, Klitschko (age 37; 60-3 with 51 KOs entering) Wlad clinched right away. He mastered distance the second two thirds of the round, and won it. A left hook buzzed Alex late. Wlad won 8 to 6 in punches landed. In the second, Povetkin (26-0 with 18 KOs; age 34) tried to get inside and be busy but getting grabbed. A left hook dropped Alex near the end of the round.
In the third, Wlad clinched when Alex got near, and clipped him with hooks and jabs. Alex wanted to land a long right and get lucky.
In the fourth, Wlad stayed focused and smart. Alex couldn’t do anything inside because he got wrapped up whenever he came close. The round wasn’t a good one for Wlad. In the fifth, Wlad kept on grabbing, and draping himself on Alex. The crowd booed the clinching. In the sixth, once again, Wlad headlocked him with his left arm, again and again. “You making him tired right now,” Povetkin’s corner told him after the round.
In the seventh, a one two landed and then Wlad threw Alex down. It was scored a knockdown. Down he went again, at 1:41, off a shove. Down he went yet again, at :55. In the eighth, Alex was in no mood to work inside so the clinching was that much easier to do. In the ninth, Wlad shoved Alex to the mat again. His right eye was now looking worse. The Wlad jab was tenderizing his face.
In the tenth, once again Wlad clinched with his left arm, with Alex dipping to his right, as rightys usually do. In the 11th,Wlad wobbled Alex at 1:15. He shoved Alex down, and Pabon took a point from him. “It’s overdue,” said HBO’s Max Kellerman. Jim Lampley concurred, as did Roy Jones.
In the 12th, Wlad clinched within the first three seconds of the round. Alex went down, his legs almost shot, off a shove at :55.
We went to the cards. Lord have mercy this wasn’t occuring in the 15 round era…
Follow Woods on Twitter.