HAMBURG, Germany -- Three thoughts from Alexander Povetkin's second round knockout of Hasim Rahman:
What a farce: At 39, without a single significant win on his resume since 2005 and having not been in a significant fight since getting pasted by unified heavyweight titleholder Wladimir Klitschko in 2008, Hasim Rahman had no business even being in the ring with Povetkin. Yet the WBA, which creates super champions to collect more sanctioning fees and seems to have no rhyme or reason to how they rank fighters, inexplicably elevated Rahman to the No. 1 contender spot. Over two very predictable rounds, Povetkin battered Rahman, wobbling him with heavy shots in the first round and finishing a heavy breathing, 257-pound Rahman off with slashing combinations in the second.
Afterwards, Rahman blamed a case of dehydration, which he says hospitalized him the day before the fight. But come on. Rahman is a shell of the fighter who landed the punch that knocked out Lennox Lewis in 2001 and even at full strength had no shot competing with a fighter of Povetkin's caliber. This was just a colossal waste of everyone's time and, for the 2,000 or so fans in the building, money.
Povetkin took care of business: With a new trainer, Hall of Fame fighter Kostya Tszyu, in his corner, Povetkin wasted little time disposing of Rahman. It's hard to say whether Povetkin is over the conditioning problems that plagued him in his win over Marco Huck, but at the very least Povetkin wasted little time disposing of Rahman. He showcased power with both hands and the sharp, technical skills of a former Olympic gold medalist. On an ugly night, Povetkin did what he had to do.
Where now, Alexander: Many have been waiting for Povetkin to step up and face Klitschko, who has been publicly chasing Povetkin for two years. And there are indications that fight could finally happen in 2013. Povetkin's promoter, Chris Meyer, told SI.com that he had a letter from the WBA -- the sanctioning body that considers Povetkin its 'regular' champion and Klitschko its 'super' champion -- that calls for a mandatory fight between Povetkin and Klitschko by February 27th. Though Klitschko's manager, Bernd Boente, says Klitschko doesn't have a mandatory due until next summer, if both sides are motivated that's a fight that would generate interest if Klitschko gets past Mariusz Wach in November.
Klitschko, however, does not believe Povetkin is serious about facing him. In a text message to SI.com, Klitschko said, "Right. Where was he before? Please."