By Marcus Richardson: Alexander Povetkin is now back in the World Boxing Council’s ratings after having been banned for 1-year following a positive drug test. The WBC has the 38-year-old former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin (33-1, 23 KOs) at No.4, bellow #1 Dillian Whyte, #2 Dominic Breazeale and #3 Luis Ortiz.
Povetkin isn’t likely going to stay ranked in the top 5 long enough for him to get a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Povetkin is the WBA mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua, and he’ll be fighting on his undercard next month against David Price (22-4, 18 KOs) in a 12 round fight on March 31 on Sky Box Office at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
As long as Povetkin doesn’t lose that fight, he’ll be facing Joshua at some point in 2018. Joshua could face Povetkin in his second or third fight in 2018. If Povetkin loses to Joshua, he’ll likely get dropped a number of spots in the WBC’s rankings. Just how far is unknown.
Wilder probably isn’t going to give Povetkin a title shot without him becoming his mandatory challenger, considering that he was previously scheduled to fight Wilder in May 2016 in Moscow, Russia. The fight didn’t take place after Povetkin tested positive for the banned drug Melonium during a test conducted by VADA.
Even if things work out badly for Povetkin with him losing to Joshua, he can work his way to a title shot against Wilder, but it might take a couple of years. The best thing that could happen for Povetkin is if Joshua beats Wilder in 2018. If that happens, Povetkin will get his title shot against Joshua, and then if he loses, he can quickly work his way back up the WBC rankings to get another fight against him. 2 fights against Joshua would bring in a lot of money for Povetkin. I’m not sure the boxing public would be all that excited about seeing Joshua fight Povetkin twice within a 2-year period, but it’s the sanctioning that are in control of the rankings. Joshua isn’t going to vacate his titles to avoid fights against Povetkin.
The WBC’s new top 15 heavyweight rankings are out as of today and they are as follows:
1. Dillian Whyte
2. Dominic Breazeale
3. Luis Ortiz
4. Alexander Povetkin
5. Kubrat Pulev
6. Tony Bellew
7. Johann Duhaupas
8. Charles Martin
9. Adam Kownacki
10. Agit Kabyel
11. Oscar Rivas
12. Carlos Takam
13. Lucas Browne
14. Dereck Chisora
15. Bermane Stiverne
Povetkin earned the WBA mandatory spot with a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision victory over Christian Hammer on December 15 in Russia. It was an easy win for the 2004 Olympic gold medalist Povetkin, but nowhere near the type of overpowering performance that we’d seen from him in wins over Johann Duhaupas, Mike Perez, Carlos Takam, Manuel Charr and Mariusz Wach. It could be that age is catching up to the Russian Povetkin, but it doesn’t matter. He’s going to get a big payday against Joshua if he can make it to the fight without losing to the 6’8” Price or whoever else he ends up facing while he’s waiting for his title shot against the British heavyweight.
The WBC doesn’t have Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) rated in their top 15 for some reason. He looks to be someone that could be getting a title shot against Joshua soon. Miller, 6’4”, has looked good lately in stopping Wach, Gerald Washington and Fred Kassi.