By Alexey Sukachev
Former world title challenger Denis Lebedev (22-1, 17 KOs) is a vital part of Team Alexander Povetkin. A good friend of a new WBA heavyweight titlist shared his thoughts about the recent fight with Konstantin Ustyantsev of Championat.ru, one of the leading Russian sports media.
- Denis, what can you tell us about the fight? Has it exceeded your expectations or you haven’t been impressed, have you?
- The bout was really thrilling and entertaining. I think everybody, who had seen it live, were impressed. We worried a bit but we were delighted at the end of these hard twelve rounds. The final outcome was about what I had expected beforehand.
- What can you tell us about Ruslan Chagaev? Was he good enough?
- Chagaev was explicitly dangerous in the first half of the fight. He was loading with huge, hard punches. You know, it’s very hard to take such a punch, so Alexander was understandably cautious. Moreover, Ruslan is a lefty and it has also affected the flow of the fight. In the second half of this contest, Povetkin caught his tempo and did what he should, defeating his opponent with an honorable confidence.
- You were just near the squared circle, sharing all the worries with Alexander and his closest assistants. Have you advised him anything?
- I don’t like to give hints while ringside. Also, it was too noisy so Alexander wouldn’t have been able to hear those advices anyway. Sasha doesn’t need any hints. The only man he should be listening is his coach Teddy Atlas and nobody else.
- There were some bothering moments in the midst of the fight. It looked like Alexander tried to land some counters and was eating punches while trying to do so. Did you think it could be a breaking point of the contest?
- On my mind, Sasha did everything well. He was looking for some new tricks; he was trying to get and to implement some fresh solutions while changing the flow of the fight. There was an episode, when Chagaev gathered it all and tried to overcome Sasha’s resistance. But it was just a moment, and he soon got tired and he visibly began to go away.
- Had it lasted two or three more rounds, would Alexander have had a chance to knock Ruslan out?
- It’s why the last two or three rounds are called championship rounds. Sasha found some inner power to get the best of Chagaev and to defeat him. He was close to a knockout victory, and it could eventually come his way.
- There are numerous rumors, that 49-year old legend Evander Holyfield will be Povetkin’s next opponent. What do you think about it?
- Every single fight is a priceless experience, and a proposed contest is no exception especially given the fact how experienced is Holyfield himself.
- Can we say that Alexander is ready to fight the Klitschkos?
- You better be asking Sasha, not me. Personally, I think he is ready for them. In the Chagaev fight, Alexander didn’t show his real potential. He can fight much better. Surely, it was Ruslan who prevented Alexander from showing the best of him. He was trying to defeat Povetkin; it wasn’t an easy fight by any means.
- At the end, please, tell us something about your own plans. Some sources indicate that a rematch with Marco Huck can take place in the first week of November. What do you think about it? Are you ready to fight Huck one more time?
- I’m ready to avenge my loss, and I had a blistering desire to erase that “L” mark on my record. The Huck fight is the most interesting and profitable variant. There can be a tune-up fight in between but I don’t like it. I’m already in shape and soon I’ll be back for more in my training camp. I hope negotiations will be accomplished successfully, and this contest will be finalized for good.