Oleksandr Usyk in talks to face Alexander Povetkin at heavyweight

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Matchroom Boxing is deep in negotiations with K2 Promotions to match undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 16-0 (12) with Alexander Povetkin 34-2 (24) in his heavyweight debut.

The 32-year-old Ukrainian southpaw claimed all four of the major world titles at 200-pounds through the inaugural World Boxing Super Series last year.

“We’re in talks. I think it’s a very tough fight to go into heavyweight, but they [K2] like the fight,” Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing told Express Sport. “It’s a tough one for Povetkin because he’s in a situation where his stock has actually risen through the AJ fight.

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“He could come out and had a standard fight or he could dive straight into a fight where if he loses his career is over so he’s also balancing up where it’s risk versus reward.

“Fans don’t really want to hear that it’s got to be financially right but that’s how things are evaluated by teams.”

Povetkin, 39, was competitive against unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua last September before eventually succumbing in the Brit’s power in the seventh round.

“Povetkin is not just saying ‘give me a good offer and I’ll take it’, he’s thinking ‘if I lose this fight my career is over, so I want enough money to make sure it’s worth taking’,” Hearn continued.

“Usyk is actually a different beast, he’s actually like ‘I like that fight’, that’s a really tough fight to move into heavyweight to.

“They’re [his team] up for fighting anyone and I like that. Again, it doesn’t mean they’re going to fight them for peanuts but he likes the challenge.

“I think if he fights Povetkin in his first fight at heavyweight, I think that’s a hell of a statement.”

In his last outing Usyk had a tougher than expected fight against Tony Bellew, eventually stopping him in eighth round in November.

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