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07 December 2019 22:39

Hunter fended off an onrushing Povetkin, scoring with right hands also touching the body with left hooks.

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Michael Hunter, Alexander Povetkin Battle To Split Draw

Michael Hunter and Alexander Povetkin battled to 12 rounds draw Saturday night at Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. In round one, Hunter, 31, nine years younger than Povetkin, surprised the old pro by unloading a number of combinations. He connected with a left hook at the minute mark of the round. Hunter worked his educated jab in round two. Povetkin shook Hunter up with a hard right to the jaw.

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Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs) moved and boxed in rounds three and four. Hunter worked his right while Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) countered with hooks and an uppercut. Hunter did well in the first minute in round five, but a wicked left hook sent Hunter falling into the ropes. Hunter went back to jabbing in round six. Hunter connected with a hard combination, but Povetkin clipped him with a hook.

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Povetkin came back with an overhand right in round seven. Hunter moved to his left and right. Hunter stuck out his left, but the round went to the busier Povetkin. Hunter connected with a couple of hard rights in the opening seconds of the stanza, but he looked like the more tired fighter. Alexander Povetkin and Michael Hunter were matched in a crossroads fight that had a lot of appeal on paper, and the bout wound up being about as good as hoped, with the heavyweights fighting to a split draw over 12 rounds.

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Judges had the fight 115-113 Povetkin, 115-113 Hunter, and 114-114. Bad Left Hook was also split on our two cards, with one going to Povetkin, 115-113, and the other 115-1113 to Hunter. Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KO) started extremely fast here, gunning for an early knockout against the 40-year-old vet from Russia, but Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KO) weathered that early storm and came back into the fight. We saw that Povetkin still has plenty left in the tank, and we also saw that the 31-year-old Hunter can hang with a legitimate heavyweight. I want to thank him for a good fight," Povetkin said.

Michael Hunter and Alexander Povetkin delivered an entertaining fight that proved as competitive in the ring as was suggested on paper. The pair of Top 10-level contenders fought to a 12-round draw in the evening's chief support Saturday evening at Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Hunter and team—which includes head trainer and former World heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman Sr.—guaranteed a knockout victory all throughout fight week. The second-generation boxer—whose late father Michael Hunter Sr. was a mid-level heavyweight contender—did his best to deliver on that promise right from the outset, taking the fight to Povetkin right from the opening bell. Hunter had the longtime heavyweight contender out of rhythm, scoring with rapid fire combinations upstairs and never giving Povetkin a chance to plant his feet and set up his own power shots. The pattern held true for much of the second round, until Povetkin was able to remind the former cruiserweight contender of his natural size and power advantage. A right hand shot had Hunter briefly stunned towards the end of the round, changing the tempo of the bout moving forward. Momentum was with the 40-year oldPovetkin, however, who was able to slip Hunter's quicker hands and score with right hand counters. Hunter survived a major scare late in round five, as a series of left hooks had him on unsteady legs. It hardly discouraged Povetkin from charging forward, continuing to come forward and shooting his right hand with knockout intentions. A less-aggressive version of Hunter came out for round six, boxing more off the back foot and reaching to the body with his jab in his best efforts to keep Povetkin at bay. A similar strategy transpired to begin round seven, although Povetkin quickly adjusted and scored with body shots which briefly forced Hunter to clinch as he did after absorbing an uppercut at close quarters. The mid-round clinching by Hunter was able to buy him some time, scoring with body shots which doubled over Povetkin. Hunter rediscovered his desired distance in round eight, circling to his left and jabbing to the body. The tactic transformed Povetkin from stalker to plodder, his offense stalled as Hunter was able to close with touch left hooks upstairs. The strategy carried over into a solid round nine as well, as the elder Povetkin looked as if he were searching for his second wind. Povetkin fought through fatigue to reestablish his right hand in round ten. Hunter righted the ship one round later, surging ahead in round eleven was Povetkin was briefly stunned with a flurry that began with a body shot. Hunter came out swinging once action resulted, a right uppercut snapping back the head of Povetkin. Hunter fended off an onrushing Povetkin, scoring with right hands also touching the body with left hooks. "I don't make the score so I don't know what to say," noted Hunter, whose record moves to 18-1-1 (12KOs), still extending his seven fight unbeaten streak even without getting the victory. Every fight since then has taken place at heavyweight, with Povetkin providing his stiffest challenge yet. "I think it was 50/50 fight," believed Povetkin (36-2-1, 24KOs), a two-time title challenger and former secondary heavyweight titlist. "I want to thank Michael Hunter for a good fight, a real good rumble. The bout served as the chief support to the heavyweight title fight rematch between California's Andy Ruiz (33-1, 22KOs) and England's Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21KOs). The 18-year old super middleweight celebrated his first full year as a pro in style, scoring an emphatic 1st round knockout of Tanzania's Selemani Saidi in their swing bout Saturday evening at Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. In Saidi (20-16-5, 15KOs), he faced a 40-fight veteran, by far his most experience foe to date and one who expected to give him rounds. His right hand was on point, twice wobbling Saidi in the first minute of the fight but always remaining poised in looking to set up that perfect fight-ending shot. The bout served in supporting capacity to the heavyweight title fight rematch between California's Andy Ruiz (33-1, 22KOs) and England's Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21KOs).