Newly-crowned WBA “regular” beltholder Alexander Povetkin of Russia will likely make his first defense against 42-year-old Cedric Boswell of Atlanta, Ga., in Helsinki, Finland, on Dec. 3, according to sources familiar with the negotiations of Povetkin’s promoter, Sauerland Promotions.
The 32-year-old Povetkin (22-0, 15 KOs) won the vacant belt with a unanimous decision over in Ruslan Chagaev (27-2-1, 17 KOs) in Thüringen Germany on Aug. 27.
Povetkin-Chagav took place on the undercard of a ninth-round stoppage by the 6-foot-6 Robert Helenius over Sergei Liakhovich.
Sitting at ringside for Povetkin-Chagaev was four-time titlewinner Evander Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs), who was also in negotiations with Povetkin’s camp to make a bout on Dec. 17 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Povetkin’s handlers had been considering Holyfield, who turns 49 years old on Oct. 19, as well as 38-year-old former Hasim “The Rock” Rahman (50-7-2, 41 KOs).
Rahman shocked the world by dethroning Lennox Lewis as undisputed titleholder by fifth-round knockout 10 years ago only to lose their rematch by fourth-round stoppage seven months later.
Rahman, the mandatory challenger to Povetkin’s belt, and Holyfield “are on the table for 2012,” according to a source.
“As soon as the mandatory is due, then they’ll deal with that fight, probably in March,” said a source. “Holyfield’s been discussed, depending on what the mandatory situation is with Rahman at that time.”
Boswell (35-1, 26 KOs) has won 14 straight fights, 10 of them by knockout, since, himself, being stopped in the 10th round by former title contender Jameel McCline in October of 2003.
Boswell is coming off two straight decisions, respectively, over former beltwinner Oliver McCall and Kerston Manswell in March of last year and in June.
Povetkin-Holyfield was in the works for Hallenstadion, where Holyfield last suffered a disputed majority decision loss to 7-foot Nikolay Valuev, who out-weighed Holyfield, 310-to-214, when they fought in December of 2008 for the WBA belt.
Rahman was also being considered for Dec. 17, and told RingTV.com that he is sure that his next fight will be against Povetkin. Holyfield defeated Rahman by eighth-round, split-decision in June of 2002.
Rahman is among the last Americans to hold a heavyweight crown.
No U.S.-born fighter has held a title since 2007, when Shannon Briggs briefly wore the WBO’s strap. In 2006, Rahman wore the WBC belt while the IBF title was held by Chris Byrd. Puerto Rican-American John Ruiz was the first Latino to have a belt when he became the WBA champ in 2005 by dethroning Holyfield.
Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 KOs), who is 40, wears the WBC belt, and has an 11-fight winning streak that includes nine knockouts.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com