By Keith Idec
The last time Alexander Povetkin fought a huge heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko knocked him down four times and easily won a 12-round unanimous decision.
The former WBA heavyweight title-holder will have to overcome another significant size disadvantage if he is to pull off a big upset Saturday night at Wembley Stadium. The 39-year-old Russian stepped on the British Boxing Board of Control scale Friday afternoon in London at 222 pounds, 24-plus pounds less than Anthony Joshua.
The heavily favored Joshua officially weighed 246¼ pounds. The 28-year-old Joshua weighed slightly more than four pounds heavier than he was the day before his last fight, a 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over previously unbeaten Joseph Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) in their heavyweight title unification fight March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
“He’s gonna be quick, he’s gonna be fast,” Joshua told Sky Sports following the weigh-in. “That’s why I’ve gotta put on my dancing shoes and be sharp on my feet.”
The 6-feet-6 Joshua also stands about four inches taller than Povetkin. The former champion has won eight straight fights, including six by knockout, since Klitschko became the first and only opponent to beat him in October 2013 in Moscow.
Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), of Watford, England, is consistently listed as at least a 10-1 favorite over Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) entering their 12-round fight for Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.
Joshua’s fight against Povetkin, the mandatory challenger for his WBA title, will headline a Sky Sports Box Office show in the United Kingdom (£19.95). It’ll also be the main event for the streaming service DAZN’s inaugural boxing offering in the United States ($9.99 per month).
Earlier Friday, Luke Campbell and Yvan Mendy made weight for their 12-round lightweight rematch on the Joshua-Povetkin undercard.
England’s Campbell (18-2, 15 KOs) officially weighed 134½ pounds, as did Mendy. France’s Mendy (40-4-1, 19 KOs) upset Campbell by split decision in their 12-rounder in December 2015 at O2 Arena in London.
The 33-year-old Mendy is 7-0 since their first fight. Campbell, 30, is 6-1 since suffering his first loss, most notably another 12-round, split-decision defeat to Venezuela’s Jorge Linares, then the WBA lightweight champion, last September 23 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.