Olympic gold medal winner Alexander Povetkin was scheduled to take on heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Mannheim on December 13. However, an unfortunate ankle injury forced him to pull out of the fight and postpone the eagerly-anticipated showdown. Boxen.com caught up with the Olympic gold medal winner in Moscow.
Q: How did the injury happen?
AP: While running in the forest, I stepped on a tree root and twisted my ankle.
Q: The rehabilitation period has come to a close. How are you feeling right now?
AP: Basically I am feeling fine. I can almost walk without limping. Soon I will start running again.
Q: Wladimir Klitschko is now facing Hasim Rahman instead of you. What do you think about this fight?
AP: Wladimir will win clearly without suffering too much damage himself.
Q: As the mandatory challenger you have to face the winner. Any preferences?
AP: It is my biggest wish to fight Wladimir. He has accomplished so much and he is at the top of his game. So I really want to fight him.
Q: The fight is unlikely to happen before September 2009. What are you doing until then?
AP: I will train hard and maybe take a fight in between.
Q: Maybe Vitali Klitschko will fight Lennox Lewis for $100 million. Would that be something for you, too?
AP: Just to enter the ring because of money – that is nothing for me. For me, the sport and the titles matters. But that is up to everybody to decide for himself.
Q: What are your training facilities like? Wladimir is preparing in a five-star hotel on Mallorca. You are here in Russia in a small gym.
AP: That is also up to everybody to decide for himself. I feel at home here, I really like it. I have everything I need. The best training conditions, my friends and my family.
Q: Family and children do seem to be very important to you. You have started a project to help children.
AP: It is more than just a project. It is called “Russian Fighters”. We support our children. They are being left alone by everybody – nobody is supporting them. The state isn´t helping too much either. We just want to teach them a few things.
Q: What exactly are you teaching them?
AP: Things like old values, culture and that you should be respectful, especially towards your parents. We want that they grow up healthily and not just boost their physical but also their emotional health. Teaching the Bible could also help.
Q: An interesting topic – are you very religious?
AP: Don´t lie and don´t steal. Honour your parents – these are very positive things that the Bible and the faith are teaching. But I don´t want to trim anybody for the church.
Q: Do you have a message for your fans?
AP: I really want to say thank you for the great support. I promise that I will always try to make good fights.