This morning from Moscow, Alexander Povetkin will face Carlos Takam in a pivotal heavyweight fight for the two contenders, who will meet in the hopes of landing an eventual WBC title shot, which is a crowded scene at the moment revolving around titleholder Bermane Stiverne.
Povetkin (27-1, 19 KO) has done well against this level of opposition and lower in his career, with his only loss coming in an all-time ugly scrap with Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013. Since then, he has fought once, knocking out Manuel Charr in seven rounds on May 30 of this year in Moscow.
He'll have home field advantage for this fight, too, but Takam (30-1-1, 23 KO) is probably a more credible threat than was Charr. The 33-year-old Cameroonian, now fighting out of France, has had a breakthrough 2014, as it were. He drew with Mike Perez on HBO in January, and convincingly defeated veteran former title challenger Tony Thompson on June 6 in France.
As for the undercard, I have no idea what will or will not be televised, but here are the fights scheduled.
Rakhim Chakhkiev (19-1, 14 KO) vs Giacobbe Fragomeni (32-4-2, 13 KO)
This 12-round cruiserweight fight is for the vacant European championship. Chakhkiev remains a threat in the division, even though the 31-year-old southpaw was stopped in June 2013 in a world title shot against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. He's won three straight since then. The 45-year-old Fragomeni was demolished by Wlodarczyk last December, and came back with an easy win over a nobody in April. On paper, he's here to be sacrificed and make Chakhkiev the European champ.
Eduard Troyanovsky (18-0, 15 KO) vs Jose Alfaro (27-8-1, 23 KO)
Speaking of sacrifices, Alfaro is a familiar name in that role. The Nicaraguan lightweight can punch a bit, but has mostly built a record against low-level foes. The 34-year-old Troyanovsky hasn't made the lightweight limit in his last few fights, but this is for a minor WBA trinket.
Arif Magomedov (12-0, 8 KO) vs Michael Zerafa (15-0, 7 KO)
A 12-round middleweight fight, this one is notable because Magomedov, 22, might be a true rising prospect in a division that needs fresh blood. Zerafa, also 22, is an Australian youngster who is here as the B-side, but who knows how dangerous he might prove to be at this level?
Manuel Charr (26-2, 15 KO) vs Michael Grant (48-5, 36 KO)
The highlights of Charr's career are mostly him crashing press conferences and the like. Grant, now 42, was a contender many moons ago. He hasn't fought since a TKO-8 loss to Takam in May 2013. Grant can still punch, though, and is dangerous simply because of that, especially when you consider Charr isn't very good. This one is scheduled for 10 rounds.