LONDON – It was a risk for the younger man and it all went wrong.
Veteran two-time world title challenger Alexander Povetkin scored a convincing 12-round unanimous decision over Englishman Hughie Fury at The O2 arena on Saturday. All three judges scored the bout 117-11.
Utilizing his experience, power and punch variety, Povetkin, who is rated No. 7 by The Ring, was largely dominant in a drab and listless fight. Fury picked up rounds sporadically by controlling some of the action from the outside, but he couldn’t put a dent in his opponent, who only engaged forward gears.
“I appreciate the audience for their support,” said Povetkin (35-2, 24 knockouts) in his post-fight interview. “It’s really nice to fight over here. We are the best.”
Fury started well with the jab and lateral movement, which were the tactics one would have expected. However, Povetkin solved the fleet-footed style quickly and his harder shots began landing with ominous regularity. The Russian was never in fear of what was coming back, and Fury’s output dropped with each passing round.
A cut, caused by a punch, opened up around the home fighter’s left eye and only compounded his problems.
Povetkin, a former Olympic and world amateur champion, has never truly lived up to his potential as a pro. He held a WBA “regular” belt (unrecognized by The Ring) between 2011 and 2013, but genuine world title challenges against Wladimir Klitschko and, more recently, Anthony Joshua ended in defeat. Can he win a world title at this point? Time is not on his side, but he remains a formidable force within the glamour division.
Fury, 24, does have time, but tonight’s defeat will be hard to swallow. There are those who believe that the scorecards betrayed him in a 2017 loss to then-WBO titleholder Joseph Parker, and Fury’s performance against Kubrat Pulev was hampered when a terrible cut opened up early in another points loss last year. Tonight, the colossal Englishman had no excuses. He drops to 23-3 (13 KOs).
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for The Ring. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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