Deontay Wilder 36-0 (35 KOs) will defend his WBC heavyweight title against Alexander Povetkin 30-1 (22 KOs) on May 21 at Megasport Arena in Moscow. Online betting sites had originally opened the defending champion at -147 odds, but most of the support at the betting windows seems to support Povetkin, pushing Wilder’s odds down to -125.
This will be the fourth title defense for Wilder but it will also be his first real test, as Povetkin is a major threat. Wilder will have his hands full in a foreign land against a very tough opponent. Let’s see why.
Wilder’s three title defenses have been against mediocre opponents. In his last fight back in January, Wilder stopped Artur Szpilka in the ninth round.
Povetkin on the other hand had two fights in 2015. He had a 12th-round TKO win over Mariusz Wach in his last fight and he has waited a long time for this mandatory challenge
The 36-0 Wilder has become a major player in the heavyweight division in a short period of time, which is remarkable and takes skill, but now he has to prove himself against the best fighters, like Povetkin.
Wilder did win a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics before going 36-0 as a pro, but his amateur career was brief and the poor quality of his opposition suggests that is he still developing. That said, his punching power is a difference-maker, as his right hand can end fights in an instant, which can’t be ignored when betting his fights. He might lack experience but his power makes up for it.
The problem here is that Povetkin has always been durable and if he can take some of Wilder’s best punches, the champion will have a hard time because it’s highly unlikely that he can beat the challenger without power.
Povetkin’s career has been long and accomplished. He culminated his incredible amateur career with Olympic gold in 2004. He won the WBA heavyweight title with a decision over Ruslan Chagaev in 2011 and defended it 4 times before losing it in 2013 via decision against Wladimir Klitschko, his only career loss. Povetkin won his next four fights, all by knockout and against top heavyweights.
Can Wilder (-131) retain the belt behind his punching power? Will Povetkin, the far more versatile fighter, prevail?
This promises to be an interesting fight and I like Povetkin at +116 boxing odds at Pinnacle. Wilder’s power can’t be ignored, but Povetkin is more consistent, capable and experienced and the fight will take