Alexander Povetkin has introduced his retirement from boxing at age 41, ending a 16-year professional profession that noticed him thought of a severe contender many of the manner, although he by no means was acknowledged by the bulk as a world champion.
The veteran fighter introduced the retirement on his Instagram account, leaving the game with a 36-3-1 (25 KO) document.
Povetkin was a standout beginner for Russia, successful gold medals at a number of tournaments, together with the 2002 and 2004 European Championships, the 2003 World Championships, and the 2004 Olympics in Athens as a brilliant heavyweight. He turned professional in June 2005, preventing largely in Germany within the first seven years of his profession.
In 2011, Povetkin gained the WBA’s secondary “world” (“common”) heavyweight title, beating Ruslan Chagaev for the vacant belt through resolution in Erfurt. It got here years after he’d gained an IBF eliminator event with victories over Chris Byrd and Eddie Chambers in 2007 and 2008, respectively, after which he by no means exercised a shot at one of many belts held on the time by Wladimir Klitschko.
Certainly, Povetkin by no means did win one of many 4 main acknowledged world titles, solely that WBA secondary model, which he held from 2011-13, when he lastly did battle Klitschko, who held the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles. In all fact, it was one of the crucial brutally ugly fights in reminiscence, an entire bore the place Povetkin went down 4 instances in whole, but by some means the battle utterly lacked drama or intrigue.
Povetkin tried to be aggressive, and located himself consistently within the clutches of Klitschko, who had one of many worst performances of a interval in boxing the place he dominated, but in addition took harsh criticism from followers and media due to his oft-boring fashion, which featured holding, pushing, leaning, and shoving in abundance when he fought Povetkin, who lunged his manner inside however couldn’t truly do something as soon as there.
Povetkin did stay a contender, as he had been for years. He scored eight straight wins earlier than his subsequent world title battle, which noticed him problem Anthony Joshua in 2018 at Wembley Stadium, for a similar three belts Klitschko had held years earlier than. Operating into a brand new period of large heavyweights, Povetkin had his moments however was stopped within the seventh spherical.
Submit-Joshua, Povetkin was up and down. He beat Hughie Fury in Aug. 2019, then went to a disputed draw with Michael Hunter in December of that very same 12 months. He scored a shock upset of Dillian Whyte in 2020, a battle the place Povetkin had been down twice within the fourth spherical, then supplied his best profession spotlight, a surprising and monstrous fifth spherical knockout:
After a battle with COVID that will have actually ended his profession earlier than he ever introduced his retirement, Povetkin lastly confronted Whyte in a rematch on March 27 in Gibraltar, a battle that had been delayed a number of instances.
This time, Povetkin regarded flat, weak, and effectively out of his depth. Whyte stopped him within the fourth spherical, having totally dominated the battle, and there have been honest questions of whether or not Povetkin ought to go on. Now, he’s introduced he is not going to.
He did have controversies alongside the way in which, mainly a canceled 2016 battle with then-WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder, the place Povetkin failed a drug check forward of the bout scheduled to happen in Moscow. Povetkin had examined constructive for meldonium, which his workforce stated he’d taken earlier than the substance was banned, however in the end the battle was canceled, as was a battle for the interim WBC title between Povetkin and Bermane Stiverne set for later in 2016, the place first Stiverne failed a drug check, and the Povetkin failed one for ostarine.
In March 2017, Povetkin was fined $250,000 and banned indefinitely by the WBC; on this case, “indefinitely” meant 9 months, not even the 12 months they initially stated he’d have to attend to re-apply to be sanctioned once more.
The information out and in of the ring are hardly spotless, however whereas Povetkin by no means did fairly attain the best of highs, he leaves the boxing recreation with a greater run than lots of people who have been totally acknowledged world champions. And by the point he acquired round to preventing Anthony Joshua and later knocking out Dillian Whyte, most individuals had functionally forgotten the doping scandals, both by alternative or simply much more disinterest within the topic than they insist they’ve when the stories are recent, simply as they’ve with many different fighters over time, from Roy Jones Jr to Canelo Alvarez and lots of earlier than, after, and in between.
Within the ring, Povetkin was persistently within the title image within the heavyweight division for nearly his complete skilled profession, however he entered at a time when Wladimir Klitschko after which Wladimir and returned brother Vitali have been manhandling the sphere, and began to wrap up as soon as Tyson Fury, Joshua, and Wilder had taken over.