Alexander Povetkin and Michael Hunter were matched in a crossroads fight that had a lot of appeal on paper, and the bout wound up being about as good as hoped, with the heavyweights fighting to a split draw over 12 rounds.
Judges had the fight 115-113 Povetkin, 115-113 Hunter, and 114-114. Bad Left Hook was also split on our two cards, with one going to Povetkin, 115-113, and the other 115-1113 to Hunter.
Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KO) started extremely fast here, gunning for an early knockout against the 40-year-old vet from Russia, but Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KO) weathered that early storm and came back into the fight.
Both fighters were hurt — Povetkin in the first and second rounds, Hunter in the second and fifth (where he was arguably held up by the ropes on a big shot from Povetkin), both in the seventh (a fantastic round), and Hunter landed a lot of good shots in the 11th.
But there really was very little to favor either way here, with 7-5 cards one way or the other seeming totally fair, as well as a 6-6 even score. So the judges were all perfectly reasonable in this one, a true rarity for boxing.
We saw that Povetkin still has plenty left in the tank, and we also saw that the 31-year-old Hunter can hang with a legitimate heavyweight.
“I think I did enough, but obviously the judges didn’t think so,” Hunter said. “We’re gonna go back to the drawing board, and hopefully I get a chance to fight him again.”
“I think it was a 50-50 fight. I want to thank him for a good fight,” Povetkin said. “I respect Michael very much, he’s a good guy.”
Both fighters confirmed they’d be happy to do a rematch, and shook hands before leaving the ring.