Alexander Vladimirovich Sasha Povetkin is a Russian professional boxer who has held the WBC interim heavyweight title since August 2020. Previously, he held the WBA heavyweight title from 2011 to 2013 and has challenged twice for the unified heavyweight championship. As an amateur, Povetkin won gold medals in the super-heavyweight division at the 2002 and 2004 European Championships, 2003 World Championships, and 2004 Olympics. After turning professional in 2005, he defeated Ruslan Chagaev to claim the vacant WBA title in 2011.
After a successful amateur kickboxing career that included winning World Junior championship in 1997, World title in 1999 and a European professional kickboxing title in 2000, Povetkin won his first major boxing tournament at the Russian Championships in 2000 at the age of 21. This would be the beginning of several major amateur tournaments Povetkin would go on to win including; the Good Will Games in Brisbane, Australia in 2001; the 34th European Championship in 2002; the XII World Championship in 2003 held in Thailand; and the 35th European Championship in 2004.
After winning the gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Povetkin took a year off before making the decision to turn pro. After meeting with several fight promoters, Povetkin signed a contract to fight for Sauerland Events. Unlike other promoters, Sauerland would allow Povetkin to train mainly in his native Russia and fight primarily out of Germany. Povetkin made his professional debut in Germany 11 June 2005 by defeating German Muhammad Ali Durmaz by second round TKO.
Povetkin vs. Chagaev: After Wladimir Klitschko unified his WBO and IBF titles with David Haye’s WBA title, Klitschko was upgraded to Super Champion by the WBA, thus making the Regular Champion title vacant. On 6 July 2011 negotiations for Povetkin to fight former WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev for the vacant title began between Sauerland, who promote Povetkin, and Chagaev’s promoter Universum.
Povetkin vs. Boswell: On 16 October 2011, a fight between Povetkin and 42 year old American heavyweight contender Cedric Boswell was close to being confirmed for 3 December at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. Boswell was on a 14-fight win streak since his sole defeat to former four-time world title challenger Jameel McCline. The fight was originally offered to former WBC champion Hasim Rahman, who asked for more money than Sauerland Event’s could offer.
Povetkin vs. Huck: In December 2011, a deal was reached for Povetkin to make his second defence against then WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck on 25 February 2012 at Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. Huck made the challenge in the post fight press conference of Povetkin’s win over Boswell. It was noted that Huck would not vacate his WBO title, until after the fight, where he would assess the situation.
Povetkin vs. Klitschko: At the end of 2012, the World Boxing Association ordered its super-champion Wladimir Klitschko to fight regular-champion Povetkin by 24 February 2013, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement. WBA let Klitschko have another voluntary title defence before taking on Povetkin, but there should have been a signed contract with Povetkin before 28 February, with a new deadline for their bout no later than 31 July.
Povetkin has a daughter named Arina with his ex-wife, Irina. In July 2013, Alexander married Yevgenia Merkulova in the Czech Republic. He also has a brother, Vladimir Povetkin, who fights as a professional light heavyweight. Both fighters were trained by Valery Belov. Povetkin has declared himself a Rodnover, he wears a Perun Axe necklace and has the Star of Rus tattooed on his inner left biceps.