By: Sean Crose
Although he never held a legitimate world title, heavyweight Alexander Povetkin cut out an impressive career for himself over the course of over fifteen years. With a record of 36 wins, 3 loses and 1 draw, the former Russian Olympian has decided to retire from the sport of boxing. “The years take their toll,” Povetkin announced on social media. “I have all kinds of injuries that still need to be treated. The time has come for me to end my career.” At forty one years of age, Povetkin can boast of having won a WBA, as well as a WBC belt.
He can also boast of having an an extremely impressive amateur career, one which culminated in Povetkin’s winning a gold medal in the super heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Turning pro the following year, he went on to win 26 in a row, earning the chance to face divisional kingpin Wladimir Klitschko for a number of title belts in 2013. The fight ended up presenting Povetkin with his first loss, via unanimous decision. Povetkin went on to win his next eight matches, getting a second crack at heavyweight glory in 2018 when he faced Anthony Joshua for the Englishman’s numerous titles.
Povetkin managed to present defending champion Joshua with a degree of trouble, but was finally stopped by the towering power puncher in the 7th. Although it appeared Povetkin’s best days were behind him, he went on to score impressive wins against Hughie Fury and Dillian Whyte respectively. The victory over Whyte, a one punch knockout in 2020, was particularly impressive. Still, Povetkin’s last bout, a rematch against Whyte this past March, ended with the former world title challenger being stopped in the 4th round. It was enough for the aging fighter to decide it was time to hang up the gloves.
Povetkin’s career was not without controversy. He was supposed to face Deontay Wilder for Wilder’s WBC world heavyweight title in 2016, but tested positive for meldonium. Although Povetkin’s team argued he had taken the drug before it was banned, he nonetheless was never able to meet Wilder in the ring. The man also tested positive for Ostarine in 2017, just before a bout with former titlist Bermane Stiverne. That fight also ended up being cancelled. Povetkin was subsequently fined and temporarily banned by the WBC. In an era where the heavyweight division was largely dominated by European heavyweights, Povetkin never fought professionally in the United States.