It is official: Alexander Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs) will defend his title against Hasim Rahman (50-7-2, 41 KOs) at the Sporthalle Hamburg on July 14. Originally the WBA-Champion was scheduled to fight in London but has now opted to do so in Hamburg instead. The fight had been supposed to split the bill with the David Haye vs. Dereck Chisora match scheduled for that day.
“It is due to organizational aspects,” said Chris Meyer, managing director of Sauerland Event. “The English time schedule was too tight. We wouldn’t have been able to guarantee that the fight could have been broadcasted live in Germany. Therefore the heavyweight world championship will be staged in Hamburg.”
Povetkin vs. Rahman isn’t exactly likely to generate much interest and there isn’t projected to be much suspense with a fight like this. Rahman is years past his best and past doing anything notable in the sport, while Povetkin is a solid fighter near the top of the division these days. Moving the fight to Germany only gives him more of an edge, as if he needed one.
A good decision, believes Meyer: “There are not a lot of cities in Germany which can host such an event on such short notice. Hamburg is a real boxing city with a great audience and a lot of boxing tradition. Furthermore the city possesses the required infrastructure to host such a big event.”
This will be the second outing in the north German city for Alexander Povetkin, whose last fight was a memorable clash with Marco Huck. “My fourth fight as a pro was in Hamburg, back in 2005. Obviously I remember that fight very well. I have also been there a few times to visit my promoter Kalle Sauerland,” said Povetkin. But the Russian should not be taking his July 14 bout lightly. Hasim Rahman, the mandatory challenger also known as “The Rock”, once was a world champion himself. In 2001 the man from Baltimore won the WBC and IBF crown by sensationally knocking out Lennox Lewis in the fifth round. Although he did lose the immediate rematch he came back and was awarded with multiple title shots throughout his career.
The second title bout will be fought out by “Golden” Jack Culcay. July 14 will be a fight on home turf for the German Amateur-World Champion of 2009. The 26-year-old lives and trains in Hamburg. It will be his first title shot as a professional boxer. The Super-Welterweight will be challenging for the WBA International Championship.