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“I would not speak in neutral status”: Povetkin on the decision of WADA, the fight with Hunter and the end of his career


A draw in a boxing match is the most disappointing result. This was stated in an interview with RT by Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin. Summing up the meeting with the American Michael Hunter, he admitted that he was dissatisfied with himself, however, he considered the judicial decision fair. In addition, the athlete shared his opinion on the decision of WADA to remove Russia from international competitions, and also compared the fight of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor with the meeting of Alexander Emelianenko and Mikhail Koklyaev.

“A draw is the right decision”

- How do you assess the result of the fight with Michael Hunter?

- It turned out to be difficult, viscous, much of what I wanted did not work. I think there will be a revenge, I hope that it will be possible to make the necessary adjustments and add. Let's see how it goes. The problem is not that I chose the wrong tactics, it’s just that the battle didn’t go and that’s it. Some lethargy was felt.

- Do you agree with the decision of the judges to award a draw?

- I find it difficult to answer. I would not say that I lost, but I am not satisfied with myself. Therefore, probably, a tie is the right decision.

- Is it possible to say that a draw in boxing is the most disappointing result?

“For me, definitely, yes.” I was determined to win, but not everything worked out.

“Don't you think it's age?”

- Absolutely not. I sparred, and in previous battles I did not feel such fatigue. But something happened here. Maybe climate change affected, maybe something else. In the future, the coaches and I intend to make changes in endurance and strength training.

- There was an impression that in the middle of the match you slowed down a little to give a good ending. Was that your battle plan?

- Not. At that time, I was already boxing on autopilot, because I was tired. Well, then everything changed. Much began to turn out, easier to breathe.

- In light of this result, what will become of the status of the first applicant for the title of the World Boxing Association (WBA)?

- The management of the organization did not talk to me about this. I think that we will be able to organize a rematch, in which the mandatory challenger will be determined.

- The result of this fight did not make you think that at the age of 40 you will not be able to perform at such a high level as before?

- I'm still performing at a high level and I'm not going to give up. We’ll find out soon.

- Could you compare your current form with the one that was five years ago?

- I would not say that the form has become worse. I always try to stay on the same level. It is impossible to judge this by one unsuccessful fight. The main thing is that the same abilities and desire to enter the ring remained.

  • Povetkin on the course of the fight with Hunter

- How long do you plan to continue your boxing career?

- As long as there is a desire and opportunities allow, it is necessary to box.

“What do you think of Dillian White’s challenge?”

- Honestly, the first time I hear about him. Of course I do not mind. But for now, you need to have a rematch with Hunter.

- Did the result of the battle between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz surprise you?

- Not. Joshua deserves this victory. Ruiz is a good, strong boxer, but his opponent correctly built a plan for the fight, acted skillfully, did not climb, because he knew how this could end. It was interesting, although someone thought it was not spectacular. Probably, this is what those who are not very versed in boxing say.

- How would you act against such an opponent as Ruiz?

- You can imagine anything. But when you enter the ring, everything is completely different. Andy and Anthony are good boxers, so it's hard to predict something when boxing against them. This is the task of a cool boxer to make an opponent act in a way that is convenient for you.

- After the first fight, everyone admired the speed of Ruiz, which clearly goes against his weight. But in the second meeting, there was no trace of her. Don't you think Andy allowed himself to bloom to some extent?

- Probably really scored too much. It is difficult to say how he feels in his weight. But do not belittle the dignity of Joshua. He took revenge with a different attitude, was more focused, cautious and adhered to the right tactics.

- Can we say that this happened because Ruiz did not cope with the status of a superstar?

- You need to ask him about this. But I think that the problem is not in it. Joshua probably made the right conclusions and therefore managed to win.

- You had a period when you could afford such liberties?

“No, I don’t see the point.” I do not know what he was guided by. He probably thought that it would be easier for him to overcome his opponent.

“I want justice to triumph”

- Recently, fights between representatives of two different sports have become popular. Not planning a fight with an MMA fighter?

- Not. In fact, this is a very difficult topic. If you fight according to the rules of MMA, you need to switch, pull yourself up in the fight, in the exit from the grabs. This is hard work and still a professional can be stronger in his field.

- How do you generally feel about such meetings as the fight between Alexander Emelianenko and Mikhail Koklyaev?

- I can say one thing: once it was organized, it means people were interested. It is worth paying tribute to the rivals. It is not so easy to enter the ring against such a strong fighter as Emelianenko. Misha was not afraid, he tried to oppose something to the opponent, for this he can be praised.

- In your opinion, this fight can be compared with the duel of Conor McGregor with Floyd Mayweather?

- To some extent, both meetings were arranged for the show. Mayweather is a very strong boxer who made his own story after spending a huge number of fights. McGregor did the same in mixed martial arts. But he is far from winning boxing.

- How do you assess the situation with the decision of WADA to remove Russia?

- Of course, the Olympic Games are everything for athletes. The guys get ready, go to them. This is a matter of their whole life. Therefore, a very unfair decision.

- Do you think athletes should go to the Olympics under a neutral flag, or do you agree with the position of the representatives of the Russian team who previously refused to do this?

- Of course, I want to speak under my flag, because you are defending the honor of your country. But this is a personal matter for everyone, it’s hard for me to say something here. If the athlete wants to go, let him go. All the same, everyone knows what country he represents. But personally, I would not speak in a neutral status.

- Do not you think that the current situation in Russian sports will provoke a massive transition of domestic boxers to professionals?

- Hard to say. We have a very strong, and most importantly, a clean team. I remember how we boxed, I know how the guys are training now. We never had any dope. These are all provocations. I’m very sorry for the guys and I want justice to triumph.

  • Povetkin on the decision of WADA

- You are the 2004 Olympic champion. In your opinion, what does amateur boxing school mean?

“She is very important and necessary.” Take Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Wladimir Klitschko, who has been invincible for 10 years. All of them were Olympic champions and successfully performed at the amateur level before becoming professionals. That is why amateur sports is so important.

Source: russiart

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