Boxing

Alexander Povetkin fights Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium on September 22.

Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin: Factfile on AJ's latest opponent

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Alexander Povetkin will become Anthony Joshua’s latest challenger when he fights the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion on Saturday at Wembley Stadium.

Despite most boxing fans wanting it to be Joshua vs Deontay Wilder in a unification fight, due to negotiations between the two camps breaking down, people have had to settle for the next best thing.

Povetkin is no slouch, however, and shouldn't be underestimated by AJ or his fanbase.

Here, Press Association Sport have explored five things about the 39-year-old Russian that may not be common knowledge.

Olympic gold medallist

Like Joshua, Povetkin is an Olympic gold medallist.

He became the super-heavyweight champion at the 2004 Games in Athens and, like Joshua, when he fought Carlos Takam — in October 2014 — he won via a 10th-round stoppage.

Russia's Highest-Paid Fighter

He also became Russia’s highest-paid fighter when, in 2013, the winning purse bid for his clash with Wladimir Klitschko was a remarkable $23,233,330 (£17,841,489).

He was dropped four times before he lost via a unanimous decision; that defeat remains the only one he has experienced as a professional.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs

His career has come with some controversy

He twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2016, costing him fights with reigning WBC champion Deontay Wilder and former champion Bermane Stiverne.

He had tested positive for meldonium, and served a ban with the sanctioning body, who also fined him $250,000 (£191,966).

Kick-Boxer

Povetkin is also an accomplished kick-boxer.

He won the world junior title in 1997, the world senior title in 1999, and the European title in 2000.

Joshua and Povetkin going face-to-face

Putin Was A Training Partner

As an amateur, Povetkin trained alongside Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, who has a black belt in judo, and they remain friends.

He lost only seven of his 132 amateur fights, and avenged each of those defeats.

Although Joshua goes into Saturday night's fight as the strong favourite, you would be foolish to completely rule out the Russian.

Topics:
Anthony Joshua
Boxing

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