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Alexander Povetkin announces retirement: ‘The years take their toll’

Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin. Photo courtesy of Sky Sports
Fighters Network

Alexander Povetkin is walking off into the sunset.

The former two-time heavyweight title challenger and 2004 Olympic gold medalist announced his retirement during a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday.

“The years take their toll,” said Povetkin. “I have all kinds of injuries that still need to be treated. The time has come for me to end my career.”

Povetkin held a secondary version of the heavyweight title from 2011 to 2013 before challenging unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko, who dropped him four times en route to a unanimous decision rout defeat.

However, the Russian was also the target of controversy when he twice tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in eight months in 2016. His actions caused two bouts to be canceled, one with then-WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder and former titlist Bermane Stiverne.

Despite his flaws, Povetkin defeated several quality opponents, including Chris Byrd, Ruslan Chagaev, Eddie Chambers, Marco Huck, David Price, Hasim Rahman, and Andrzej Wawrzyk.

But his most significant victory came in 2020 during the penultimate bout of his 16-year career against Dillian Whyte, who knocked him down twice in the fourth round before the then-40-year-old roared back with a Knockout of the Year contender in the following frame with a vicious left uppercut that knocked Whyte out cold.

They fought in a rematch in March, but Whyte overpowered Povetkin and stopped him in four rounds.