AWAY FROM HOME - It doesn’t make a bit of slugging percentage sense, but after their weigh-in, Alexander Povetkin, around 228, actually looked like a fairly decent underdog proposition against Wladimir Kiltschko, 242.
It seems more than a few folks got a similar impression. With reports of late Povetkin money increasing as fight time drew near, the Plovotk thickened.
By the time “Only in Amerika” Don King started crooning President Putin’s national antic, there was a sense that all the Russian Olympic hero Povetkin had to do was step inside the Olimpiyskiy strands tonight to usurp most of K2’s alphabet hardware.
That’s no knock on Povetkin, who has done what’s been required of him, so far.
Whether he can continue that trend against the far more proven Klitschko, or the possibility of a stacked Soviet deck, added international intrigue to an already interesting match-up.
The belt Povetkin claims may be another example of silly sanctioning, but he is a dedicated, disciplined, and generally likeable fighter. Povetkin has waited for the time and place he and his investors felt was right.
From afar, it seems the time and place couldn’t get any better for Povetkin.
It’s impossible to tell without being there, but from various media broadcasts, including German broadcaster RTL who will show the bout live, a maybe too lean looking Klitschko appeared to have an invisible sword of duking Damocles overhead.
Meanwhile, homeboy Povetkin looked mighty comfy.
Could Klitschko’s personal best payday have lulled him into costly contentment?
“A victory and my legacy is more important to me than the money,” Klitschko told the media, right around the time he tagged the 17 million dollar payday as paltry compared to Floyd Mayweather Jr’s wages.
Might this be a case of Klitschko bartering away a comfort zone that ends up being a danger zone, akin to where Marvelous Marvin Hagler found himself against Sugar Ray Leonard?
K2’s Bernd Bonte has already been quoted complaining that some contractual conditions were not being met, including no access to the arena. It’s been quite a while since Klitschko’s side hasn’t held most of the promotional cards. Some see this as comeuppance time.
Klitschko is such a perceived favorite in many quarters that if he loses, no matter how it happens, there will be squawks about some sort of fix.
After Klitschko’s 2004 debacle at the hands of Lamon Brewster, a fighter similar enough to Povetkin, various attempts to explain the shocking TKO 5 stoppage included murmured speculation that Klitschko’s water had been spiked.
Should Team Klitschko be especially concerned? There may have been too much of a business as usual atmosphere for their own good.
If Moscow’s contest runs true to the boxers’ recent form, Klitschko should win in a fight that resembles his stalking snoozer against Eddie Chambers.
But from what I’ve seen and heard in this part of the Western Euro zone, things in Russia run nothing like the form I’m used to in either Berlin or Vegas.
The Klitschkos speak the language, have seemingly good Moscow relations, and Vitali has already fought there with satisfaction. Does that sound ripe for an ambush? It helps to be on site at the weigh-in to really know what scenarios are most likely to unfold.
Based on recent form, Klitschko should win by early KO. Someone in his corner needs to find a way to replicate Steward barking desperate instructions. Steward wouldn’t get in that frenzy if his charges followed the plan. It was often a challenge to inspire Wladimir’s attack.
If Povetkin is quick enough to land counter combinations after Klitschko’s initial long leads, it could be time to break out the Beluga vodka. I don’t think Povetkin has the one-punch power to stop Klitschko cold, but Povetkin could have enough speed and finesse to force referee Luis Pabon’s hand.
If I was setting odds based only on personal ringside observations, they’d still be at least 5 – 1 Klitschko with what should be a knockout within the first half of the fight. But I’d never take those bets unless I knew Wlad listened to a recording of Emanuel Steward screaming for a knockout every night this week.
Klitschko by Decision or KO : 3 – 1
Povetkin by Decision or KO : 2 – 1
Draw : Even
Povetkin by DQ / Foul / Etc (technical ruling) : Even
Klitschko by DQ / Etc : Impossible
And if Klitschko didn’t bring his own water to Moscow, he might be looking up at blurry red stars, as the comrade counts “AecRTb”, or Russian for ten.