By Ruslan Chikov
Henry Maske, former champion and German boxing legend, placed some of the blame on Teddy Atlas, the former trainer of heavyweight Alexander Povetkin (24-0, 16KOs), for the Russian champion's struggles on Saturday night in Stuttgart, Germany against WBO cruiserweight king Marco Huck (34-2, 25KOs). During the course of the fight, Povetkin was hurt, he was visibly exhausted and he was lucky to win a majority decision to retain his WBA "regular" title.
In the opinion of Maske, Atlas never sharpened up Povetkin's defensive skills. The German legend says Povetkin's new trainer, Alexander Zimin of Russia, was unable to fix Povetkin's defensive gaps in a such a short time period. Zimin took over the training camp on short-notice after Atlas refused to travel to Russia to train Povetkin.
Maske was also critical of referee Luis Pabon, who allowed Povetkin to duck very low throughout the entire fight without issuing any warnings or points being deducted.
“Povetkin defeated himself [in the fight]. His previous trainer, Teddy Atlas, paid very little attention to defense, and [Povetkin's] new coach was unable to correct [his defensive flaws and stamina] in only three weeks. [Huck's trainer] Ulli Wegner is right, that Povetkin was getting too low [to avoid punches]. That simply means that didn’t have enough strength to stay vertical. The referee should have prevented him from fighting like that," Maske said.