Alexander Povetkin knocks out Javier Mora in 5

In Berlin's Max Schmeling Halle, Alexander Povetkin scored a fifth round technical knockout over journeyman Javier Mora. Povetkin started out slow, with Mora actually getting in quite a few shots to the body early in the round, but Povetkin caught him with a counter left hook that fell the Mexican like a tree.  From that point on, Povetkin applied constant pressure, but wasn't able to take out Mora in the first round. Povetkin again knocked down Mora in the second, but still couldn't put him away.

From that point on, Povetkin turned the fight into a personal sparring session, practicing slipping jabs, throwing uppercuts on the inside and combination punching.  Povetkin still had a few defensive lapses where Mora was able to hit him, but for the most part it was a dominant performance over someone he should have dominated.  In the fifth, he had Mora cornered, launched a massive combination and sent Mora sprawling to the floor for a third time, at which time the referee waved off the bout.

This is the second Povetkin fight since Teddy Atlas took over as his trainer, and while he had an underwhelming performance overall, he's started to show improvements in some areas that could help him better prepare for Wladimir Klitschko.  For instance, he's showing much more fluid upper body movement, which will be key for getting inside Klitschko's jab, and his footwork has improved as well.  Also, he's fighting more aggressively, throwing more varied combinations, and is showing a lot more angles from the inside.  While I was very skeptical that Atlas could help Povetkin much, the subtle changes in his style all seem to be things that will help him specifically beat that one big opponent who's on his slate.   He's not turning Alexander Povetkin into Mike Tyson, but he's certainly fighting more like an American than ever.

In other undercard results, Yoan Pablo Hernandez scored an unexciting unanimous shutout decision over Cesar David Krenz to retain his minor IBF cruiserweight trinket.  Kubrat Pulev won a second round technical knockout over durable gatekeeper Danny Batchelder, moving to 7-0.  Pulev is being moved extremely quickly, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's lined up for a title shot by the end of next year.  Alexander Frenkel won a unanimous decision over Antonio Tarver's failed clone Michael Simms.

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