Alexander Povetkin, who retained his WBA "regular" heavyweight title on a debated majority decision verdict yesterday against Marco Huck, says he may have overlooked his opponent before yesterday's fight. From BoxingScene.com:
"I don’t know why the fight went this way. Maybe I underestimated him [Huck]. The fight started off pretty good for me, but then it got worse. I just got tired. I don’t know. Maybe I didn't take this fight as seriously as I needed to."
Povetkin (24-0, 16 KO) is receiving a lot of criticism from all over the place. Teddy Atlas blames Alexander Zimin, more or less. Henry Maske is blaming Atlas. But I said this yesterday and I'll say it again: The truth is, Povetkin just isn't that great of a fighter. When you put him in against other good fighters, which we have not seen very much (twice, in my estimation, he has fought guys who are good and in their prime), he's going to struggle because he's not significantly better than they are.
Povetkin, 32, is who he is, and he's a flawed fighter. He puts punches together better than most heavyweights, he's better than most heavyweights, but he's far from invincible or unbeatable. He's going to have problems with other good fighters, be it Huck or Eddie Chambers, which we've seen, or a lot of other guys out there right now he hasn't fought -- Tomasz Adamek, Chris Arreola, Dereck Chisora, probably Denis Lebedev if he moved up to heavyweight and started fighting men in his peer group. Forget the Klitschkos, although he's as good an opponent as they'll get, too. He's on the level with the best of the rest, but not on their level.
Lucky for Povetkin, who has been sheltered as a pro and coasted on his amateur credentials, he won't be facing any young, in-prime fighters in his next fight, either, as the WBA has moronically ruled that Hasim Rahman gets the next title shot, and Povetkin vs Rahman is indeed the next fight on the schedule.
But my point is, maybe instead of looking for excuses, it just needs to be admitted that he's going to have problems with good opponents. Why should he be expected to dominate? He's given no reason to think he should be dominant against good fighters. It kind of reminds me of the yearly Dallas Cowboys story. They've had expectations for years, have never given any good reason why they should have them, and every year people act like it's a disappointment that they're mediocre. How is it disappointing? It's par for the course.