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Wladimir Klitschko planning April 6 return, but not against Alexander Povetkin

Wladimir Klitschko hopes to return to the ring on April 6, but it's unlikely that Alexander Povetkin will be in there with him, which could lead to the WBA stripping their 'super' champion of his title.

Joern Pollex

World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is aiming to return to the ring on April 6, but it likely won't be for a fight against Alexander Povetkin. The WBA has ordered that Klitschko and Povetkin come to terms for a fight -- Klitschko holds the "super" title, while Povetkin holds the "regular" belt -- but the two sides have not entered into any serious discussion.

Klitschko (59-3, 50 KO) may wind up stripped of his WBA belt, which would still leave him with the IBF and WBO titles, as well as the Ring Magazine and IBO championships. Hilariously, the WBA is also considering a fight between Luis Ortiz and Ruslan Chagaev (who has lost convincingly to Klitschko and Povetkin, with no truly notable wins in years) for an "interim" title.

Klitschko went 3-0 in 2012, but it was a subpar year all things considered, as he faced a series of hopeless opponents. Jean Marc Mormeck went down in March, followed by Tony Thompson in July, and Mariusz Wach, who gave the greatest challenge (and it wasn't much), in November. Only Thompson can be explained away as a mandatory challenger.

Turning 37 in March, Klitschko has given no indication that he's closing in on a retirement, but the general feeling has been that he has no plans to overstay his welcome. Of course, his legitimate stay at the top of the heavyweight division could easily last years and years, given the current climate of the division.

If Klitschko does not face Povetkin, who else would you like to see across the ring from him next time out?

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