Alexander Povetkin has decided to call it a career.
The 41-year-old former heavyweight champion and 2004 Olympics gold medal winner announced his retirement during a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia on Sunday.
"The years take their toll," said Povetkin. "I have all kinds of injuries that still need to be treated. The time has come for me to end my career."
Povetkin, once a successful amateur kickboxer, had been a professional boxer since 2005 and amassed a record of 36 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw during a 40-fight run that featured him fighting some of the top names in the division.
The 6-foot-2 fighter Russian pulverized plenty of durable opponents, but suffered blemishes against Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, Anthony Joshua in 2018 and Dillian Whyte earlier this year.
Povetkin captured the only world title of his career in 2011, a vacant WBA crown against Ruslan Chagaev.
Povetkin defended the title four times against the likes of Cedric Boswell, Marco Huck, Hasim Rahman and Andrzej Wawrzyk before losing the belt in a landslide decision to Klitschko in 2013 after he was dropped four times.
Povetkin's past was also mired in controversy when he twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in an eight-month span in 2016. At the time, he was the WBC mandatory challenger for then-champion Deontay Wilder. The development caused a cancellation for their fight and a $250,000 fine for Povetkin.
After the Klitschko loss, Povetkin reeled off eight-consecutive wins against the likes of Carlos Takam, Mahmoud Charr and Mariusz Wach and landed an opportunity to fight Joshua, but he suffered a seventh-round TKO in the fight.
After decisioning Hughie Fury and having to settle for a split draw with Michael Hunter in 2019, Povetkin’s final two fights against Dillian Whyte were arguably the most memorable of his 16-year career.
In their 2020 meeting, Povetkin was knocked down twice in the fourth round but bounced back up and scored a comeback, knockout-of-the-year contender in the fifth when he landed a vicious uppercut and finished Whyte.
The thrilling fight warranted a rematch in March, but Whyte proved he was too powerful for his rival, dropping and stopping Povetkin in the fourth.
The bout proved to be Povetkin’s final one as a pugilist.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com