‘Sickening KO’ is just plain scary
ALEXANDER Povetkin positioned himself for a fight with Anthony Joshua later this year by savagely finishing English giant David Price on the undercard in the lead-up to Joshua's heavyweight title fight against Joseph Parker on Sunday.
Joshua maintained his status as the best heavyweight in the world with a unanimous points decision over the Kiwi but the finish fans were hoping for never eventuated. For that, you had to look at Povetkin's bout against Price.
In a back-and-forth bout that thrilled the Welsh crowd, Povetkin moved his record to 34-1 with a fifth-round stoppage to claim the WBA intercontinental heavyweight title.
Povetkin, whose only defeat came against former champ Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, is the number one challenger for Joshua's WBA title and must be given an opportunity if the Brit wants to keep the belt.
First he had to take care of Price - and there were moments where you wondered if he'd fall at the final hurdle.
Price had a couple of moments in the opening two rounds, clipping Povetkin with a nice shot at the end of the first and snapping his head back with a jab in the second.
But he was conscious of covering up against the Russian's ripping lefts to the body and head.
The third round was a peach and had the British commentator exclaiming "heavyweight boxing is back".
Price opened up early in the round but was made to pay as Povetkin put him down with a heavy left hook. The Englishman was furious at himself and slammed his gloves on the canvas in frustration as he sat up.
He took that anger into the rest of the round and returned the favour with a big left of his own that sent Povetkin reeling backwards on shaky legs. The ropes held him up and the bell saved him.
The action steadied in the fourth before Povetkin delivered the killer blow in the fifth. He stunned Price with a right, leaving the Englishman frozen with his hands down. The Russian needed no invitation to finish the job, loading up a left hook that left his opponent unconscious.
Price received medical attention and returned to his feet before leaving the ring.