RING IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will puruse his 19th consecutive victory and his 14th stoppage win during that run on Oct. 5 against unbeaten Alexander Povetkin in a clash of Olympic gold medal winners in Moscow. The deal was announced Tuesday on the Klitschko Management Group website.
“I’m very happy that this fight is finally made. The fans around the world are looking forward to this extravaganza between two Olympic champions,” said Klitschko, 37, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist for Ukraine.
“This is the best fight in the heavyweight division and I┬┤m thrilled that it will be staged in Moscow where many Russian and Ukrainian fans have a chance to fill the arena. The atmosphere is going to be thrilling.”
In April, Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov bid $23,333,330 toward the bout between Klitschko (60-3, 52 KOs) and Povetkin (26-0, 18 KOs), a 33-year-old winner of Olympic gold for Russia in 2004.
The bid made by Hryunov, who is an advisor to Povetkin, far surpassed those of K2 Promotions and Sauerland Event ($7.1 million and $6.01 million, respectively). The minimum required bid was $1 million.
“I’d like to thank our Russian partners Andrej Ryabinsky and Vladimir Hrunov for putting together this great match-up. We had long and intense negotiations,” said Bernd B├Ânte, Managing Director of the Klitschko Management Group.
“But both sides were willing to find an agreement, and now we can together present the fans around the world one of the best fights that can be made. We were all waiting for this bout a long time but finally here we go. Two gold medal winners, two heavyweight champions, two great athletes — a dream fight.”
Klitschko is coming off May’s sixth-round knockout of previously unbeaten Francesco Pianeta, and Povetkin (26-0, 18 KOs), a third-round stoppage of previously undefeated Andrzej Wawrzyk during the same month.
As the WBA’s “super champion,” Klitschko would receive a favorable 75-to-25 percent split of the purse, or $17,499,997 compared to $5,833,333. Both amounts would be career-highs for Klitschko and Povetkin.
“A lot of time and effort went into this, but now finer details have been dealt with, agreements are signed, and we are looking forward to October and the historic fight between these titans of boxing,” said Ryabinsky.
“We would like to thank our German partners for their cooperation and joint efforts. Together we have done monumental work and managed to come to a mutually workable agreement.”
In THE RING’s ratings, Povetkin sits at No. 2, ranked only below champion Klitschko and his brother, No. 1-rated Vitali Klitschko.
“Strong title-holding opponents already means a lot,” said Hrunov. “But we will have to wait until October to see who will end up victorious.”
Neither Boente or Klitschko Management’s Tom Loeffler could be reached for an immediate comment, but Loeffler said, during an earlier interview with RingTV.com, that HBO would likely land the fight.
“Apparently, Hryunov has some strong backing from Russia, so that’s how he was able to put the bid together,” said Loeffler. “I’m pretty sure that it will be on HBO. HBO has expressed interest in the fight, so that would make the most sense. Regular HBO.”
Klitschko will be after his 15th defense, and if he is successful, will have been a titleholder for seven years, three
months and 13 days. Klitschko’s acheivment will surpass Larry Holmes, whose reign of 20 defenses, seven years, three months and 12 days rank second only to Joe Louis’ 25 defenses, 11 years, eight months and eight days.
Photo by Michael Sterling Eaton, KMG.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]