Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Mayweather vs Mosley
Pittsburgh Fight Sports Examiner | Scott Heritage
Floyd Mayweather's campaign to clean up the sport appears to have gained at least one new fan.
Ukrainian heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin is apparently asking that Wladimir Klitschko agrees to pass WADA (world anti doping agency) testing before their IBF title fight.
The situation is a little different than the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao debacle though, and Wladimir still has yet to publicly respond to the demand.
The major difference is that to demand these kinds of terms usually requires some kind of bargaining power. In the case of Mayweather and Pacquiao, both were bringing a lot of drawing power to the table and had more or less equal power in dictating what the terms would be. Also both were sufficiently well known and decorated enough to simply walk away and take other high profile fights if things didn't work out.
In Povetkin's case he is a fairly anonymous albeit talented challenger for one of Klitschko's three belts.
He essentially has no bargaining power at all in the terms because Wladimir would probably rather skip him altogether and fight David Haye anyway. He brings another notch on Wladimir's belts, Wladimir brings the belts themselves. Not to mention the fan base in Europe and the track record of making top ranked challengers look like amateurs.
Also aside from anything else, if the commissions aren't making Klitschko do something, then he will always have the final say as champion. If Povetkin argues then he will simply lose his title shot, which will present the IBF with an interesting problem. What to do when your interim champion won't fight the champion and there are very few decent contenders out there?
Both of the Klitschko brothers have said recently that they think Povetkin is scared of them, and that he would find some way out of his title shot against Wladimir. If they're right, then Povetkin might be biding his time until one or both of them are retired at which time title belts will presumably be easier to come by.
Speaking to the Russian media, Vitali Klitschko said of Povetkin:
"I have a feeling that Povetkin and his team do not want a fight with Wladimir, especially after what my brother did to [Eddie] Chambers. I think they understand this fight will be the end for Alexander. I support Povetkin and I watch his fights, but the promoters and managers can ruin a promising career by throwing him to the lions. I am sure Alexander will be a world champion one day, but he must wait until the Klitschkos are long gone."
There is however an additional piece of information which might be brought up by Povetkin should Wladimir refuse the testing. Back in 1996 when both of the Klitschko's were amateurs Vitali was caught using steroids. He has gone to a doctor with a knee injury from his kickboxing days and hadn't checked the doping lists for what he was given.
Obviously by the sounds of things Vitali wasn't trying to use any performance enhancing drugs in the traditional sense, and being an amateur probably didn't know any better in those days. Still Povetkin and his team might try to take advantage of this long forgotten error if the situation develops further.