Alexander Povetkin (33-1, 23 KOs) will defend his WBA Inter-Continental and WBO International Heavyweight titles against David Price (22-4, 18 KOs). The fight will be held at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff on March 31. On which is to be a fantastic Undercard for the Joshua-Parker fight.
Povetkin is the WBA’s mandatory challenger to Joshua’s title and his team thoroughly believe this is the perfect opportunity. This will help the 38 year-old set up the long-time top contender for a future title shot.
“I’m very excited to be fighting on this huge undercard,” said Povetkin. “I expect to put on a great performance and then go on to fight the Joshua vs. Parker winner later this year.”
Standing in the Russian powerhouse’s path will be the mountainous one-time top prospect David Price. The Liverpool favourite is relishing the occasion and cannot wait to get in the ring.
“It is a massive, massive chance for me and it has come from nowhere, “said Price. I wasn’t expecting an opportunity like this to appear so it was a no-brainer.”
The 34-year old Price was once widely viewed as the future of British heavyweight boxing until a string of shock knockout losses to Tony Thompson, Erkan Teper and Christian Hammer all but toppled his then soaring career. However, Povetkin is by far his single best opponent in what promises to be a very tough fight.
Alexander Povetkin is the winner of seven impressive straight victories, with five knockouts since suffering his lone defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. The most recent win was a one-sided twelve round shut out over Price conqueror – Christian Hammer, which gave him the mandatory shot against Joshua.
Povetkin vs. Price is a potentially intriguing fight that can be a total mismatch or barnburner. Povetkin is the elder statesman but has shown very little wear and looks the part of a world-class fighter aside from past struggles with random drug testing.
Questions abound whether Price’s stamina and suspect chin will hold up against the withering power of the ‘Russian Vityaz.’ Price has real punching power too and looks very strong, especially when throwing the right hand as he did against Hammer a year ago.
A key factor in this contest will be Price’s weight and overall conditioning. Price ballooned to the 270s against Hammer and succumbed to the additional weight and his opponent’s fists in the seventh round. He needs to get back down to the 240s or it will be a short night against Povetkin.
Andrei Ryabinsky, Povetkin’s promoter, believes that his fighter has fought in Russia for far too long. Ryabinsky is eager and open to take their act overseas to improve his reputation. The prospect of fighting Price of his magnitude, in front of 70,000 screaming British fans provides the perfect audition for Joshua.
The upset-minded Price understands defeat is not an option and will likely be the final nail in the coffin. “Make no mistake, I am coming to win. At first, I was just grateful for the opportunity but now in my mind I have to win this fight. There is plenty to gain and too much upside for me not to win this fight – it could be life changing. I am desperate to win this fight and I will do everything in my power to do so.”
Personally, I do not see this fight going the distance with so much at stake for both men. Povetkin is clearly the A-side fighter in this contest but that alone is not enough to determine a winner here.
It should be an interesting night of betting odds and predictions. This fight has the potential to be big.