Yesterday former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin announced his retirement from boxing.
The 41-year-old Russian made the announcement via social media bringing the curtain down on a 16-year career which finished with a record of 36 wins, 3 losses and one draw.
The 2004 Olympic gold medallist began his career in Germany on June 11, 2005, with a second round TKO victory against Muhammed Ali Durmaz and ended it with a fourth round loss to Dillian Whyte in their March rematch.
A former world champion, a long-time heavyweight contender who always carried a threat particularly with his left hook, Povetkin leaves behind a career that will be remembered for many a big fight but also controversy as well. On two occasions he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs which not only damaged his career but voided any opportunity of seeing Povetkin in against rivals like former WBC champion Deontay Wilder. The American was set to travel to Russia to defend his title in 2016 but the fight was cancelled when Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium.
Since losing his WBA crown in a unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013 Povetkin has won 10 of his last 13 contests. His only losses coming to Anthony Joshua when he faced the Brit for his world titles at Wembley Stadium in 2018 and then the defeat to Dillian Whyte earlier this year.
“The years take their toll,” said Povetkin who suffered from Covid-19 late last year.
“I have all kinds of injuries that still need to be treated. The time has come for me to end my career.”
Dillian Whyte, who shared the ring with the veteran on two occasions paid tribute to his former foe.
“Happy retirement to one of the best modern-day heavyweights and a great champion,” he wrote on his Twitter page.
“God bless you, enjoy your next chapter and thank you for two great fights.”
American heavyweight Michael Hunter who fought Povetkin to a draw in 2019 wrote, “Great sharing the ring with the champ. Happy retirement to Povetkin.”
Main image: Mark Robinson