An odd, outlier Wednesday fight come November 4th promises some serious action as the consensus 2nd best heavyweight in the world, Alexander Povetkin, defends his WBC Silver against Polish giant Mariusz Wach at Basket Hall Arena in Kazan, Russia, wherever the dickens that is.
The 6-8, 35 year old Wach, 31-1, 17 KO, is as about tough as they come, but also about as disgraced as they come when he was caught by brother Vitali in the Wladimir Klitschko fight with tampered gloves that had the padding removed. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also failed the post fight drug test showing high levels of steroids and was suspended from boxing. Then the mess in Poland where he was involved in some kind of drug smuggling network and maybe served some time in jail. He was in good position to go to the top of the heap once Wlad retired, but instead took to running with a bunch of thugs who have helped to ruin his career, a real shame that.
Now he has a chance to prove something against the vastly improved Povetkin who seems to have had a mysterious heart transplant after floundering during his lost years while boxing’s maniacal Uncle Teddy was training him into the dirt. The 35 year old Povetkin also sports a similar record to Wach, 29-1, 21 KO, also suffering being shutout by Wladimir, yet somehow he managed to rebound with 3 of the most venomous knockouts in a row over top opposition that we just don’t see in this current light in the loafers generation of American heavyweights. I can’t think of another modern fighter who made such a strong comeback so soon after such utter humiliation, but Wach is a huge tree to chop down, so he’s got his work cut out for sure.
Undercard features current WBA cruiserweight champ Denis Lebedev against Lateef Kayode. Both recently suffered knockouts against huge heavyweight types, Guillermo Jones and Luis Ortiz, except that afterwards both monsters were caught by the post fight drug tests. In another odd twist, though Jones was stripped of his WBA title, the KO against Lebedev still stands under Russian federation rules whereas Kayode got his result changed to an N/C, only in a sport so disorganized as boxing can such diametrically opposed results stand without any question.
I see the heavyweight bout as evenly fought in the early rounds with plenty action as Povetkin slowly pulls away from Wach for a decision. The southpaw Lebedev put up one of the most impressive fights I’ve ever seen against Jones, fight of the year quality by both, but he also took an unholy beating that may have taken something out of him. Kayode is fresher from fighting lesser comp, but not as proven as Lebedev, so this ends up being one of those crossroads types of fights that tend to be some of the best fights as both have extra incentive.
And if the stakes alone aren’t extra incentive enough, a certain Russian blonde bombshell, Ms. Svetlana Kulakova will be contesting Ms. Ana Laura Esteche in a rematch of their recent draw for the WBA superlightweight title. Now I don’t watch women boxing, never have and never will, but it’s undeniable that there are some capable of giving any healthy guy a major league shot of testosterone upon first, 2nd, and 3rd glances, so hopefully not so much that the guys can’t pass their post fight drug tests!
Anyway, I’m guessing this Russian Rampage can be viewed by Americans in the wee early morning hours, so set your clock. Russian based fights really rock.