Source: Daily Mail

Howdy folks. Today I’d like to discuss some potential matchups for a fighter who is nearing the end of his career.

Alexander Povetkin 35-2 (24 KOs)

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Alexander Povetkin is a very good boxer and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching his bouts throughout his career. I would like to piggyback off of something our Editor Jeremiah has stated in several of his articles when Povetkin has been mentioned. Povetkin has been a top-10 Heavyweight for 12 of the past 13 years and 9 years in the top-5.

He is a very savvy veteran who has competed with some of the best in the division in two different heavyweight eras. He was duking it out with high-level operators like Chris Byrd and Eddie Chambers within the first two to three years of his pro career. He has also matched up with guys like Ruslan Chagaev, Marco Huck, Hasim Rahman, Wladimir Klitschko, Carlos Takam and Anthony Joshua, to name a few. His longevity to compete with some of the best in this sport for this many years is pretty amazing in itself. He has never been the best Heavyweight at any given time, but he is nearly always competitive against the elite and has never been upset against any lower level opposition.

Alexander Povetkin has only fought a man with a losing record once in his entire pro career. “Sasha” is one of few heavyweights who actually moves his head, knows how to parry, and keeps his guard up. He is a highly technical boxer who throws crisp combinations and has very good power to round it out. This former Olympian still demands respect and deserves another shot at a championship before his career concludes.

#1 Matchup: Deontay Wilder 41-0-1 (40 KOs)

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Deontay Wilder is a beast of a man who hits like a ton of bricks. He has a chance to knock out anything he touches. The overall skills, technique and chin are the main question marks on Wilder. He throws a decent jab and a rocket right hand. I enjoy the fact that Wilder goes out there with a mean attitude and makes every attempt to please the crowd with a knockout.

Which is where his advantage would be in this fight. He would need to keep Povetkin at long range and end the night with that straight right. However, I don’t like the fact that Wilder is wild and sloppy with most things he does, which always gives a chance for him to get upset at some point. This would be Alexander’s best chance to defeat one of the best out there and put his name back in the eyes of the boxing public. Povetkin would need to work his way inside with his head movement and combination punching. If he hits Wilder even partially clean, it could end sour for Deontay.

Wilder is currently the WBC belt-holder and is legitimately a top-5 heavyweight. Povetkin is a legitimate top-10 heavyweight contender. This could take place in New York, New Orleans, or Las Vegas.

#2 Matchup: Andy Ruiz Jr. 33-1 (22 KOs)

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This is a very good matchup no matter what the conclusion of the Joshua rematch is. Ruiz is currently the IBF, WBA and WBO titlist and clearly a top-5 heavyweight. Povetkin did pretty well against Anthony Joshua for as long as the fight lasted. As a matter of fact, he might have been beating Joshua up until the stoppage. If Ruiz defeats Joshua again then this is even more significant. Andy Ruiz is a good combination puncher, as is Povetkin. They both have good power, but not huge power. I still think somebody gets stopped in this bout and it probably ends up being a good technical boxing match. This would be good in Mexico, California, or Las Vegas.

#3 Matchup: Tyson Fury 29-0-1 (20 KOs)

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Tyson Fury would be a very tough mountain to climb for Alexander Povetkin due to the fact that Fury is a very tall and highly-skilled boxer. Considering Povetkin’s issues he had against Wladimir Klitschko, this would be similar in context. Somehow Povetkin would need to get inside and try and rough Fury up a bit and throw his combinations. If he doesn’t then Fury would just pepper him from a distance.

England, New York, or Las Vegas would be good landing spots for this bout. Tyson Fury is considered to be the number one heavyweight by some, but has no belts, however he defeated the number one guy in Wladimir Klitschko a couple years back. He also had a draw with Deontay Wilder last year but should have come away with that victory. It’s all so confusing as to who the real champions are anymore, so it’s for you to try and dissect this nonsense. Either way, Fury is unquestionably a top-3 heavyweight.

#4 Matchup: Luis Ortiz 31-1 (26 KOs)

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Luis Ortiz would be a great matchup for Alexander Povetkin, especially if it were now, or if they both were prepared to retire after losing any of their next matchups. They are both “40” years old now (so we think, Ortiz might be more like 50). This would be a battle in the center of the ring, with Ortiz trying to box from distance in his southpaw stance and Povetkin boxing his way forward, using his jab, head movement and combination punching. It would be hard to tell if either one of them would push the fight to go for the knockout, so it might go the distance. Neither one currently holds any trinket, but they are both legitimate top-10 contenders. This could land in a place like Russia, New York, or Atlantic City.

#5 Matchup: Kubrat Pulev 27-1 (14 KOs)

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Kubrat Pulev has been hanging around the top-10 for a long while. Both men have common victories over Hughie Fury and common defeats against Wladimir Klitschko. Pulev has an awkward style, which could cause problems for Povetkin. He has a good jab and a nice right hand. However, he is kind of one dimensional and doesn’t really have a lot of power. Povetkin would need to take advantage of that. This could end up being a slightly boring bout, but would prove who is a more worthy contender. Bulgaria or Russia would be suitable for this match.