Alexander Povetkin Update: Hasim Rahman Now the Leading Candidate for December Fight

Alexander Povetkin won't be fighting Evander Holyfield, but the new choice may not be any better. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In a move that might seem mildly positive on paper but doesn't actually hold up to much scrutiny, it appears that 38-year-old former champion Hasim Rahman is now the leading candidate to face WBA heavyweight titlist Alexander Povetkin in December, Rick Reeno reports.

Reeno also notes that 48-year-old Evander Holyfield is not an option for the fight, despite the fact that Holyfield attended all the events during the Povetkin vs Chagaev fight weekend and was even photographed in the ring with Povetkin afterward. The early thought was that Holyfield would be getting a publicity stunt title shot, but that's not the case now. Whether or not the immediate public and media reaction to the idea is anything to do with Holyfield falling out of the running, or more likely it was just Holyfield wanting too much money, that's not an option anymore.

Is Rahman better? No, he's not.

Truthfully, if I went beyond a top ten right now, Holyfield would sadly rank somewhere in the top 25 of the current heavyweight division, top 30 at the absolute worst. Rahman might not make the top 40 anymore. At 38, he's physically further past his prime than even Holyfield, arguably, and when he fought last in June 2011, Rahman tipped the scales at an absurd 284 pounds, about 50 pounds heavier than he was at his peak.

I guess the black-and-white question here is, would you pick Rahman to beat Holyfield? I guess I might, because Evander looked lousy against Sherman Williams in his last fight, but I think I'd still slightly favor Evander if Rahman is going to show up as bloated as he was in June. Rahman's last relevant fight came in December 2008, when he was a late replacement for Povetkin against Wladimir Klitschko, and he didn't win even a second of the fight.

Truthfully, I have a hard time digging down and finding much respect for Povetkin's career. His best win was against Eddie Chambers and it came years ago at this point, after which he ran from Wladimir Klitschko twice when he signed fights, and had Teddy Atlas pull him back to the club level. Ruslan Chagaev hadn't looked good in years once Povetkin fought him in September, and now we're talking about Hasim Rahman? He's playing it as absurdly safe as he possibly can.

Still, at least it's not Jean Marc Mormeck. Povetkin's fight will take place on either December 3 or December 17.

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