Alexander Povetkin claimed his first share of the SportsRatings Heavyweight Boxing title in his long career, but he did so under the dodgiest of circumstances and won a fight which could conceivably be overturned to a No Contest.
Povetkin, who has been #3 in the Heavyweight rankings for around 7 straight years, beat Johann Duhaupas by KO in the 6th round in Russia. This result, coupled with the inactivity of #1 ranked Tyson Fury and #2 Wladimir Klitschko, makes the Povetkin our Interim Champion—despite remaining #3 in the rankings. And despite some questions about Povetkin's worthiness.
SportsRatings Heavyweight Boxing Top 10 as of December 18, 2016:
|Rated Record||December 1-17 results
|5||1||1||1||1||TYSON FURY||62.77||15-0-0||last rated win -12 months.|
|1||2||2||2||2||WLAD KLITSCHKO||51.30||42-4-0||last rated win -19 months.|
|3||3||3||3||3||ALEX POVETKIN||33.78||25-1-0|| KO 6 #18 JOHANN DUHAUPAS
[new Interim HW champion]
|--||15||6||5||5||ANTHONY JOSHUA||26.40||11-0-0||TKO 3 #77 ERIC MOLINA|
|46||17||12||9||6||JOSEPH PARKER||22.64||11-0-0||MD 12 #12 ANDY RUIZ JR|
|54||12||8||7||7||LUIS ORTIZ||21.63||12-0-0||TKO 7 #100 DAVID ALLEN|
|2||4||4||6||9||VITALI KLITSCHKO||20.27||27-2-0||last rated win -51 months.|
|4||14||10||10||10||KUBRAT PULEV||18.32||16-1-0||RET 3 Samuel Peter|
Povetkin tested positive for Ostarine just prior to the fight, which was to have been a match against Bermane Stiverne. Normally that would mean cancellation of the fight—just as it did for Povetkin's prior matchup with Deontay Wilder. In that case, Povetkin's Meldonium level was scant and likely due to ingestion in 2015, which was legal. But this time, it meant that despite the WBC withdrawing its sanctioning of the fight, the fight went off as planned—with last-minute replacement Duhaupas subbing for Stiverne, who was uninterested in a fight that wouldn't be a sanctioned eliminator.
Confused yet? Another interesting note is that the man Povetkin took the Interim title from is none other than Deontay Wilder—the man who would have faced the winner of Povetkin-Stiverne.
If Povetkin's "B" sample also tests positive, the fight may be ruled a No Contest...or perhaps not. Lately fighters have been testing positive and getting bans of various lengths while their results stand. Lucas Browne is one case; his win over Ruslan Chagaev was not overturned as investigators were sympathetic to his arguments that he consumed clenbuterol inadvertantly.
So if the results stand, Povetkin will remain the interim champ until April 29, 2017 when #2 Wladimir Klitschko faces #5 Anthony Joshua in London. Unless that fight doesn't happen for some reason.
And if the result of Povetkin's fight is overturned, then the interim championship will revert retroactively back to #4 Wilder, and he'll hold it until April.
Another question: Why don't we disqualify Povetkin for his alleged drug use? Because, quite plainly and simply, there is no way to know who is using what, due to the ineffectiveness of testing in the sport of boxing. We use official results, and hopefully when cheaters are caught, results are overturned and bans are issued. This way we can keep a record of fights and use that—and only that—in making our rankings, without all sorts of modifiers and notes about PED allegations and test results.
Unfortunately that doesn't always work out. Erkan Teper tested positive multiple times and his wins over Duhaupas (funny how the same names pop up?) and David Price remained. He was banned for two years by the German Boxing Federation but still allowed to fight by other organizations. Luckily, he was defeated by Christian Hammer which knocked Teper out of the top ten. Karma sometimes works in strange ways. Duhaupas had no such luck against Povetkin, but hopefully the Klitschko-Joshua fight gives us a more worthy Interim Champion.
Assuming of course, that those two are clean fighters. One never knows...