Cementing the rumors as fact, ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reports that WBA heavyweight titlist Alexander Povetkin will make the first defense of his belt against Cedric Boswell on December 3. The fight will take place at Helsinki's Hartwall Arena, which hosted the Carl Froch vs Arthur Abraham fight in November 2010.
Povetkin (22-0, 15 KO) picked up the "vacant" "regular" version of the WBA belt on August 27 with a decision win over Ruslan Chagaev in Germany, claiming his first major title as a professional. The former amateur standout's pro career has been a bit of a disappointment thus far, and at 32 he's accomplished a lot less than most thought he would have by now. His career and reputation have been hampered a bit by twice ducking Wladimir Klitschko after signing to fight him, and while he may be the world's third-best heavyweight right now, few if any take him seriously as any type of threat against the brothers. This doesn't make him unique, but once upon a time he was supposed to be that guy, and it just hasn't happened.
Boswell (35-1, 26 KO) may not be a well-known name, and he's 42 years old, but the Detroit native and Atlanta resident can fight. He'll be a genuine underdog here, but I can't help but be happy about a couple of things. First off, he's getting the chance he's so desired for so long. And second, Povetkin isn't fighting someone worse. There was talk of Evander Holyfield and then Hasim Rahman, and frankly Boswell is a better opponent than either of the former champions. He's fresher, less beaten up, and with his 81" reach, I could honestly see him making Povetkin work hard for this one. He may not win, but "The Boz" is unlikely to roll over if the going gets tough.
How do you feel about this one? Better or worse than Holyfield/Rahman would have been? Do you think Boswell has a legitimate chance to pull off the upset, even if it's a small chance?