DIVS, Ekaterinburg - In a WBA, WBO final eliminator, Alexander Povetkin (33-1, 23 KOs) won a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision over Christian Hammer (22-5, 12 KOs). The scores were 120-107, 120-108 and 119-108.
With the victory, Povetkin has placed himself in line for a mandatory shot in 2018 against either Anthony Joshua or Joseph Parker - and both champions are currently in talks to fight each other in the first quarter of next year.
The promoters for both Joshua and Parker have expressed interest in a fight with Povetkin. If the negotiations between Joshua and Parker fall apart, Povetkin could find himself fighting for a world title sooner than later.
It was an easy night for the Olympic gold medal winner. Povetkin had very few issues because Hammer was mostly on the move and not throwing too many punches per round.
Povetkin controlled the action, pushed the pace of the fight by coming forward and it wasn't really hard to outwork Hammer. He wasn't forced to do too much to win each round.
There was never a sense of urgency or even a hint of a late rally from Hammer, who appeared comfortable to simply stay away from danger and make it to the final bell.
Hammer came into this fight on the on a very big run, with upset wins over David Price and Erkan Teper. A loss to former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, from February 2015, was reversed earlier this week after it was determined by UK-Anti Doping that Fury had tested positive for a banned substance in a pre-fight drug test.
Povetkin finally has his career in order after a disastrous 2016 - where two major fights were canceled due to failed drug tests. He was scheduled to first fight WBC world champion Deontay Wilder in May 2016 and it fell apart a week before the bout after Povetkin failed a pre-fight drug test. And a December 2016 final WBC eliminator with Bermane Stiverne was also canceled after Povetkin failed a pre-fight drug test.
Despite the failed tests and canceled fights, Povetkin brutally knocked out late replacement Johann Duhaupas in December and dominated Andriy Rudenko in July. He's won seven in a row since losing to Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013.