By Rick Reeno
The World Boxing Association is going to make a push for their two heavyweight champions, Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 50KOs) and Alexander Povetkin (25-0, 17KOs), to fight each other in the first quarter of 2013.
Wladimir, who also holds the WBO/IBF/IBO titles, will defend his belts against undefeated Mariusz Wach on November 10th in Hamburg. Wladimir is the WBA's "super champion" at heavyweight, while Povetkin is the "regular" champion.
At the WBA's ongoing convention in Jakarta, WBA vice president Gilberto Mendoza issued an order which indicates that Klitschko’s upcoming defense against Wach would be his final optional [at least under the WBA], and the mandatory against Povetkin would be due by February 27.
BoxingScene.com was advised that the Klitschko-Wach winner will receive a letter from the WBA that directs them to satisfy the mandatory obligation to Povetkin.
The WBA's order does not necessarily mean that Klitschko and Povetkin are going to fight in the first quarter of the upcoming year. Wladimir does have the option of submitting a request for another optional - but the mandatory challenger, that being Povetkin, must also agree in writing that he allows Wladimir to move forward with the optional. The same scenario took place earlier this year, when Hasim Rahman was paid a step-aside fee in order for Povetkin to move forward with a lucrative fight with Marco Huck in February.
Povetkin was the mandatory to Klitschko in 2008, but suffered an injury and withdrew from a scheduled December fight. He was once again the mandatory challenger in 2010, also under the IBF, but this time he withdrew per the advice of his then trainer Teddy Atlas. Povetkin is now trained by Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu. At 33-years-old, Povetkin realizes that it's "now or never" and the Olympic gold medal winner appears to be very serious about facing Klitschko in the first half of 2013.