by Johnny Walker
Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin of Russia, in his comeback fight following his first professional loss last year at the hands of world champion Wladimir Klitschko, was as impressive as he’s looked in some time in destroying German-based fighter Manuel “Diamond Boy” Charr today in Moscow, Russia.
From the start of the match, Charr, usually brimming with bravado, was on the defensive, as an in-shape looking Povetkin unleashed his fury over the Klitschko loss on his latest opponent. Charr tried to box with a high guard as Povetkin for the most part dispensed with jabs and launched a continual barrage of power shots at Charr. By the end of round one, Charr was already facially marked up and holding on.
Povetkin’s confidence only grew as scored with a combination of hard shots in round two, while Charr tried to showboat, flexing his muscles and screaming at Povetkin to bring it on. Unfortunately for Charr, that is just what the Russian did, more and more penetrating Charr’s high guard with power shots, launching hard left hooks that caught Charr on the side of the head. A frustrated Charr even hit Povetkin with some punches after the bell rang to end round two.
Charr’s only success in the fight came with an accurate straight left jab that left Povetkin’s right eye slightly swollen by the end of the night. He began landing these with more regularity in round three, but Povetkin still did more damage with a hard left hook to Charr’s ear and a head-snapping uppercut to his jaw.
Povetkin continued to pile up rounds as Charr began to tire and try to hold on, the Russian’s power punching attack sapping his strength. After being rocked by a Povetkin combination in round five, the flamboyant “Diamond Boy” stopped to flex his biceps, but this was an empty gesture by this point. Every time Charr dared drop the high guard to try and open up, he was punished by the superior boxer and had to quickly cover up again.
Round six seemed to hail the beginning of the end for Charr, as Povetkin focused on landing power shots to the body and the head of his opponent, who was visibly wilting under the non-stop assault. As the round waned, Povetkin nailed Charr with another bone-crunching right uppercut and then sent him flying into the ropes with a big left hook.
The seventh and final round saw Povetkin shutting out Charr, for whom the end was near. Finally, another uppercut rocked Charr, and Povetkin put together a beautiful series of punches: a right cross, two left hooks, and then a truly devastating right cross that sent “Diamond Boy” to the floor and through the ropes.
Referee Massimo Barrovecchio didn’t bother with a count and stopped the fight at 1:09 of round seven, with Alexander Povetkin (27-1, 19 KOs) the winner by knockout.
After questionable performances of late against cruiserweight kingpin Marco Huck and heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin seemed today to have rediscovered the form that made him such a hot heavyweight prospect not that long ago. Perhaps the increased confidence that comes with being in top shape was part of the reason for this.
As for the theatrical Charr (26-2, 15 KOs), with his only losses being to former WBC champ Vitali Klitschko and Povetkin, one doubts that we’ve seen the last of the Diamond Boy, who may now serve a gatekeeper role in an increasingly competitive heavyweight division.