Alexander Povetkin destroyed Mike Perez today in Moscow to win a mandatory challenger spot to Deontay Wilder's WBC heavyweight title, stopping the Cuban contender in just 91 seconds.
Povetkin (29-1, 21 KO) hurt Perez with a right hand about a minute into the fight, and Perez simply never really recovered. Moving back after the shot that hurt him, Perez then got into close quarters with Povetkin, who spun him around, caught him with another clean right hand, and dropped his opponent.
Perez was done there, but referee Massimo Barrovecchio made the decision to ignore the fact that Perez wasn't really responding to him, though the Cuban was on his feet, and let the fight go on, not even having Perez walk toward him, which would have definitely told him that Perez's legs were gone.
Povetkin moved in and quickly finished things off with another knockdown, which came easily as there was only instinct keeping Perez on his feet in the first place. Perez falls to 21-2-1 (13 KO).
This fight ostensibly sets up Povetkin for a shot at Wilder (33-0, 32 KO), who will make a homecoming defense against Eric Molina on June 13 in Alabama, after winning the WBC belt in January against Bermane Stiverne. It's a very interesting fight to say the least. Povetkin's only pro loss came against Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013, and he's won three straight fights, all by knockout, since then, all against credible opponents. He's got a lot of skill, good power, and experience that Wilder simply lacks, even still.
But there's no guarantee that fight happens, even with the mandatory. It may be hard to get Povetkin to come to the United States for a fight, especially considering that if the fight goes to purse bid, he has the sort of financial backing that can beat Al Haymon and his team, which would bring the fight to Russia, which may not be what Wilder wants to do. But that's all in the future. For now, it can be considered an upcoming fight. We'll see.
Grigory Drozd retained the WBC cruiserweight title with a dominant win over short notice challenger Lukasz Janik, stopping the Polish challenger at 0:50 of the ninth round. It was a totally one-sided fight, with Drozd (40-1, 28 KO) outclassing Janik (28-3, 15 KO) and gradually breaking his will and spirit over the course of the fight.
Drozd led 80-71 on all three scorecards after eight rounds, which was the only score possible. He was completely in control from the get-go, and was never in any remote danger or even made uncomfortable. Janik was a replacement for countryman Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, who fell ill and had to pull out of his rematch with Drozd, which could be rescheduled for sometime this fall.
- Dmitry Kudrayshov TKO-6 Vikapita Meroro. Kudrayshov 18-0 (18), Meroro 28-5 (14).
- Rakhim Chakhkiev KO-8 Junior Anthony Wright. Chakhkiev 23-1 (18), Wright 13-1-1 (11).
- Manuel Charr UD-10 Alex Leapai (100-90, 97-92, 98-94). Charr 28-3 (16), Leapai 30-7-3 (24).
- Svetlana Kulakova UD-8 Marie Riederer (80-72, 80-72, 80-73). Kulakova 10-0-1 (1), Riederer 15-3-1 (10).
- Dmitry Bivol TKO-4 Joey Vegas. Bivol 3-0 (3), Vegas 17-11-2 (10).