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Klitschko vs Povetkin fight has new August 31 deadline

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The WBA has reportedly set a new deadline for Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin to finally face one another late this summer. Will the fight actually happen?

Ralph Orlowski

According to a report at BoxingScene.com, with a Sauerland Event official as the source, the WBA has set a new deadline for a long-awaited fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin. August 31 is the new deadline date.

Klitschko (59-3, 50 KO) faces Francesco Pianeta on May 4, while Povetkin (25-0, 17 KO) has nothing currently scheduled. Whether or not Povetkin will take an interim fight remains to be seen, but it might be a good idea given he hasn't had a real fight since February 2012, when he struggled to get past cruiserweight titlist Marco Huck. Povetkin's last outing came in September, when he defeated a totally shot Hasim Rahman in pathetic fashion.

Wladimir fought three times last year, so going from a May 4 date -- where he's not expected to face much of a challenge -- to a late August date for Povetkin isn't out of the question or anything. On paper, this is feasible, and could happen.

But there are other factors. Both fighters have TV deals in Germany with rival networks, as Klitschko has an exclusive contract with RTL, and Povetkin fights on ARD, through Sauerland's deal with that channel. There is also money, and the negotiation process. The Klitschko team is notoriously stingy; sure, they offer guys like Manuel Charr more money than they'll get for something else, but Povetkin isn't Manuel Charr. Povetkin is worth some money without Wladimir, and Sauerland are the real deal as promoters.

This is certainly no guarantee the fight happens, in other words. Wladimir holds the WBA "super" title, and the organization would likely hate to lose the sanctioning fees he pays, while Povetkin holds the "regular" belt, and the organization would likely hate to lose the sanctioning fees he pays.