Povetkin-Chagaev battle for WBA title

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The WBA “regular” heavyweight title vacated by Wladimir Klitschko’s elevation to super champion will be on the line Saturday in Erfurt, Germany, as Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (21-0, 15 KOs) takes on Ruslan Chagaev (27-1-1, 17 KOs) of Uzbekistan to ensure a monopoly on the heavyweight division’s upper echelon for fighters from the former Soviet Union.

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Chagaev is perhaps best known for his one-sided nine-round TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko for the then-vacant Ring Magazine heavyweight championship in 2009, when Klitschko thoroughly dominated the fight from the start and the referee refused to allow Chagaev to answer the bell to begin the tenth round.

Povetkin is trained by Teddy Atlas, who has trained championship fighters before, most recently Michael Moorer, who held the IBF and WBA titles at points in the mid-1990s. Povetkin’s biggest wins to date were an 11th-round TKO of a past-his-prime Chris Byrd in 2007 and against then-undefeated Eddie Chambers in 2008. Povetkin’s camp and Atlas turned down a chance to fight Wladimir Klitschko in September 2010, believing their best chance for a title shot lay elsewhere. This will be that shot at a belt.

This fight will air on Epix and in the United States on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT in a broadcast that will include the Robert Helenius-Siarhei Liakovich heavyweight contest as the co-feature.

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