It all points to Povetkin

  • By: Derek Bilton
  • Last Updated: September 28 2012, 10:38 BST

Our expert Derek Bilton fancies Alexander Povetkin to beat Hasim Rahman in a fight that goes the distance on Saturday.

Alexander Povetkin can win on points

Slim pickings on the boxing front this weekend after a fabulous few weeks of action. The biggest fight of note is definitely Alexander Povetkin's WBA world heavyweight title fight with Hasim Rahman.

However it's hardly a fight to set the pulses racing. Rahman has done virtually nothing since he stunned Lennox Lewis in Carnival City, South Africa way back in 2001.

He lost a return to Lewis convincingly and has also been beaten by the likes of Evander Holyfield, John Ruiz, Oleg Maskaev and Wladimir Klitschko in big fights since. At 39, it says as much for the moribund state of the heavyweight division as it does for Hasim's current capabilities that he's getting this gig at all.

He's on a five fight winning streak since losing to Wladimir in 2008 however so gets another chance of a payday in Germany.

Povetkin has a perfect 24-0 (16) record but he is WBA champion in name only. Everybody knows that Wlad Klitschko is the real WBA kingpin, but in a move to increase their earning potential via sanctioning fees the boys from the WBA have elevated Klitschko to 'super' champion status.

Povetkin is a decent fighter, but for me he should have been let off the leash far sooner and at the age of 33 his best years may already be behind him.

The Russian was a standout amateur (he claimed super-heavyweight Gold at the 2004 Olympics) but his best wins as a pro was against a faded Ruslan Chagaev in 2011 and unlike his contemporary David Haye he has been involved in far too many meaningless fights against C-list opposition.

At 6'2 he's not huge by today's heavyweight standards but he has respectable power (67 percent KO ratio) though he struggled against a much smaller man in Marco Huck last time out.

Rahman is Rahman. A big, ponderous fighter who does the basics well. He's pushing 40 and even at his best speed was never one of his notable attributes.

Ergo the percentage call is for him to fold after halfway in this one but he's had plenty of notice for the fight and a decent training camp by all accounts.

He's clearly faded but another way of looking at that is to say he is a gnarled veteran who knows his way around a boxing ring.

Whatever, at 7/2 I reckon it might be worth putting faith in the old dog to last the course here with Povetkin fancied to win on points.

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