Just before Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker step into the ring to part unify the world heavyweight titles, Alexander Povetkin and David Price will square off in a fight that probably shouldn’t be happening on so many levels.
How Povetkin and Price will be allowed in the same ring is a question which needs asking. They are at a different level if you go off recent performances and rankings. Boxing Monthly rate Povetkin the 3rd best heavyweight in the world, only Joshua and Deontay Wilder are ahead of him. Price meanwhile is rated only the 9th best heavyweight in Britain, so how the fight has been sanctioned is of serious concern.
There is, of course, a darker side to the fight, Povetkin a boxer with two failed drug tests behind him, seemingly has had little or no drug testing in the weeks leading up to the fight, if the Price team are to be believed. Surely a fighter with history should be a priority for WADA, UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control.
The Povetkin team say he was tested this week and Gilberto Mendoza, president of the World Boxing Association says “Povetkin is in the voluntary testing pool with VADA. He has been tested [before the Price fight]. In the last two years he has been regularly tested.” Price himself says he hasn’t been tested once during his camp.
Whatever the truth, and it worries me that we can’t get definitive information, should the promoters and the board of control have said on principle we don’t want Povetkin fighting in this country or on our show. Testing and the punishments for drug cheats is clearly inadequate, there are plenty of excuses, different regulatory bodies depending where fights are held is one. But it seems a convenient excuse if all concerned wanted it bad enough they would find a way.
Price who has been beaten by two drug cheats before must have major concerns about the fight does the fact that Price has taken the fight shows his hunger or perhaps sheer desperation to get his career back on track.
Boxing rarely leaves us with a happy ending, but for a number of reasons I hope the right man wins in Wales, but sadly I fear he won’t.