Former world-title challenger Henry Akinwande, one of the merry band of 40 somethings still plying their trade in the heavyweight division, has the opportunity to gain revenge for his defeat to Oleg Platov on June 30th when the two provide chief support to Alexander Povetkin’s debut in international class against Monte Barrett. Most observers believed the 6-7 Akinwande deserved the decision the first time they clashed, whether Akinwande can be more decisive this time remains to be seen.
The Povetkin v Barrett clash is an intriguing one. I’ve seen highlight reels of the fresh faced Russian and he looks compact, busy and with notable power in his left hook and as a 13th contest Monte Barrett represents a stern test of his credentials. Admittedly, Barrett may accept, privately at least, that his Indian summer that culminated in a title shot versus Nikolay Valuev in October may be making way for a career winter but he remains a competent heavyweight with victories over Owen Beck, Dominic Guinn and Erik Kirkland – three fighters who had previously been touted as prospective champions.
Povetkin’s swift rise to top level 10 rounders can’t help but make British fans reflect on the demise of Audley Harrison and the endless parade of unambitious, small opponents with aesthetic records he faced. Povetkin’s handlers clearly have more faith in his ability to improve in competitive bouts. Whatever his weaknesses technically, Barrett wont lie down.