Former heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin believes he still has plenty of sand left in the hourglass.
Although Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) will turn 41 years old on September 2, he’s not viewing his Aug. 22 fight against Dillian Whyte as his last hurrah.
“I don’t see this as a last chance,” Povetkin said in a video released on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel. “What’s most important is my preparation and my boxing. Box beautiful with a result. The key factors depend on my training and my conditions.”
Povetkin won an Olympic gold medal for Russia in 2004 and will bring decades of experience to the ring versus Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs), who is 32 years of age.
‘They must expect a beautiful and tremendous fight,” said Povetkin. “With my motivation, I’m ready to box wherever my age. I made a few mistakes against Michael Hunter [in my last fight]. That’s why it looks this way. I had to recover, but I won’t make these mistakes with Dillian Whyte, that’s for sure … Having amateur experience gives some advantages to the boxer, but this is not the key. You have to go through many professional fights.”
Povetkin’s only blemishes during his 15-year career came during losses to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 and Anthony Joshua in 2018. Last December, he fought Hunter to a split draw in Saudi Arabia.
If Povetkin pulls off a win against Whyte and proves that he still has plenty left in the tank, even more palatable opportunities will surely be waiting for him despite his status as a quadragenarian.
If he looks his age against the British boxer—who likely will weigh upward of 20 pounds more than Povetkin—perhaps it will be the last time boxing fans see the Russian on a big-time stage.
“If [Whyte] wants to trash talk, it can be a different atmosphere. I expect him to be in good shape. What about his last fight, [a win versus Mariusz Wach in December]. It can happen to anybody. What’s important is you win,” said Povetkin.
“Maybe something didn’t go as he expected, but he won. That’s the most important. I didn’t think especially about the left hook. This is not the key to win. Every punch can make an effect and make you lose or win, but the most dangerous punch is the one that you don’t see. It’s not only the left hook.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.