Klitschko holds the WBA Super championship, in addition to the IBF, WBO and The Ring belts, and has been ordered by the WBA to arrange a showdown with their ‘regular’ champion Povetkin or else be stripped of one of his belts.
The Ukrainian, who has dominated the maximum-weight division for years, has successfully arranged to stage a tune-up fight before he takes on the undefeated Russian.
The favourite to battle Klitschko ahead of the Povetkin encounter is Cuba’s Odlanier Solis (18-1, 12 knockouts), who won Olympic gold at the 2004 Athens Games. April 6 is being touted as the likeliest date of the event.
In order to claim this special dispensation from the WBA, however, Klitschko and his team must sign a contract by February 28 which promises a title opportunity for Povetkin by July 31.
Povetkin has 25 professional wins without blemish, with 17 ending inside the scheduled distance. The 33-year-old’s last outing was a brutal second-round stoppage of Hasim Rahman in September.