Calling a fight interesting isn’t going to portray it in the most exciting light, but Povetkin vs Hunter is just that, it’s an interesting matchup because it pits two very experienced fighters at different stages of their careers.
Povetkin is nearing the end of his career, he turned 40 in September, but he has shown none of the signs of a boxer whose body is stopping him from performing at the very highest level, in fact when he fought in August at the O2 Arena, London against the 25-year-old Hughie Fury he kept up a pace that matched the younger mans, the difference was that Povetkin was able to impose his will on Fury due to his extra experience and the skills he has gained since he turned professional in June 2005 after a long and successful amateur career.
Hunter too had a glittering career in the unpaid ranks and took part in the London 2012 Olympics where he was eliminated by Russian Artur Beterbiev. As a pro, Hunter is 18-1-0 with 12 Ko’s. His last six bouts have been fought in the heavyweight division after losing to Oleksandr Usyk for the WBO cruiserweight title in April 2017.
Hunter is small by today’s heavyweight standards weighing around 215lb – 220lbs and standing 6’ 2”. He utilises good footwork and fast hands to get in and out quickly before his bigger opponents can land their heavier punches. This skill set has seen Hunter beat good quality heavyweights such as Martin Bakolie, Alexander Ustinov, and Sergey Kuzmin in the last year.
It would be easy to dismiss Hunter’s chances because of Povetkin’s past achievements but Hunter who resides in Las Vegas is still only 31-years-old which most trainers will tell you means he has only just entered the peak years of his career. Also, Hunter has performed well against some very decent opposition since he moved up to heavyweight.
But in Povetkin, Hunter comes up against a big-hitting heavyweight that has faced every style known to man. Because of his recent performance against Hughie Fury, it is hard to imagine a scenario where the Russian doesn’t land his powerful overhand right hands or his signature left hook at some stage. Hunter is quick and will frustrate Povetkin in the early rounds but the former WBA heavyweight champion from Chekhov, Russia is a patient boxer who knows how to set traps for his opponents.
Hunter has looked very good as a heavyweight but I think in this fight he will learn why the cruiserweight division is where he truly belongs.
Prediction: Povetkin to stop Hunter after the 9th round.