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Klitschko vs Povetkin preview: Staff picks and predictions

Will Wladimir Klitschko keep barreling through the heavyweight division, or does unbeaten Alexander Povetkin have what it takes to score the upset and end the Klitschko reign?


Ryan Bivins

While Povetkin might be as good as it gets for Klitschko opponents, he's still undersized with the wrong fighting style to pull off the upset. He stood straight up and took a beating from a cruiserweight last year (although his stance made sense against Huck and was mainly undermined by his conditioning) and he'll do the same against Dr. Steelhammer. Povetkin simply lacks the necessary head movement and inside fighting ability to win. But he does have power and pretty good timing (if he's not winded). If his reach was about a foot longer I'd give him a real shot. Alas, he'll have to make do with his 75 inches and will probably get stopped late. Klitschko TKO-11.

Scott Christ

This fight will last as long as Wladimir Klitschko feels like letting it go. There is nothing Povetkin does as well as Klitschko, let alone better. The way I see it, there are some potential live dogs at heavyweight against Wladimir or Vitali, and Povetkin style-wise just isn't one of them. Povetkin reacts slowly, misses openings, and is often hesitant. He gets hit pretty easily for someone with his background. Alexander Povetkin is a decent fighter, don't get me wrong. He deserves to be in this fight. But he's a seven across the board, and you need more than a bunch of sevens to beat Wladimir Klitschko. This fight reminds of Mayweather-Guerrero in terms of how competitive I see it being, but Klitschko hits really hard. Klitschko TKO-5.

Fraser Coffeen, Bloody Elbow

What is there really to say here? Yes, Povetkin is a legitimate challenger. Yes, this is an anticipated fight. But I see it ending up being about as close as Mayweather vs. Canelo. Which is to say, not very. Unless you're C.J. Ross. Klitschko is ghoing to do what Klitschko does - use that size, jab away, slowly heat things up, eventually wearing Povetkin down to the point that he gets nuked. Can Povetkin stop the inevitable? I don't see it. Klitschko by KO-8.

Kory Kitchen

If you're predicting anything other than a Klitschko victory you are a friend/family member of Povetkin, you are under some weird type of spell (kind of like me when I picked Tavoris Cloud to beat Bernard Hopkins), or you are Teddy Atlas. Maybe all three.

Yes, Klitschko is getting up there in the years but he takes immaculate care of his body and is all-around just plain better than Povetkin. True, Povetkin is better than most of the guys Wlad has run through recently, but that doesn't mean much. He's a step below and he will only fare moderately better (if that) than all others over the last few years.
Wlad will jab and occasionally throw the long right hand of death. Wlad's jab and right hand are like ‘80s Hulk Hogan's big boot and leg drop. He's big, boring and you may not want it but it's coming and he ain't losin' for nobody. Klitschko UD-12.

Dave Oakes

Povetkin is upright, slow of foot, slow of mind and can get caught with punches you can see coming 200 miles away. He's going to be a sitting target and that makes him the perfect opponent for Klitschko. The only way I can see Povetkin having a chance is to go all-out from the first bell, chin down, arms swinging, and praying to God he can land something hefty on Klitschko's chin before he gets levelled himself. I can't see that happening.

Povetkin will try his luck at range and will get taken apart systematically, it'll be the usual Wlad style jab, jab, jab, wallop. I've got my doubts to how well Povetkin will react when he takes a big shot, I wouldn't be at all surprised by an early knockout or an early retirement. Klitschko TKO-3.

Final Tally: Wladimir Klitschko 5, Alexander Povetkin 0.

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