Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions confirmed reports that Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov has bid $23,333,330 toward an Aug. 31 bout between RING IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and unbeaten Alexander Povetkin that would take place in Moscow likely on HBO.
Loeffler said the bid made by Hryunov, who is an advisor to Povetkin, far surpassed those of K2 Promotions and Sauerland Event.
“The winning bid was a $23 million bid. Vlad’s bid was $23 million, K2′s was 7.1 and Sauerland’s was 6.01,” said Loeffler. “It’s certainly a higher bid than anyone was expecting.”
The minimum required bid was $1 million.
A 1996 Olympic gold medalist, Klitschko (59-3, 50 knockouts), who is 37, is preparing for his EPIX-televised May 4 bout at The SAP-Arena in Mannheim, Germany, against former sparring partner Francesco Pianeta (28-0, 15 KOs).
A 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Povetkin (25-0, 17 KOs), who is 33, is getting ready to face Polish opponent Andrzej Wawrzyk (27-0, 13 KOs) at Crocus City Hall, Myakinino, Russia.
“This certainly speaks to the magnitude of the fight. They are two Olympic gold medalist heavyweights,” said Loeffler. “One of them, Povetkin, is undefeated, and Wladimir is considered the best heavyweight in the world right now, so this is certainly an attactive fight and a big fight.”
As the WBA’s “super champion,” Klitschko would receive a favorable 75-to-25 percent of the purse split, or $17,499,997 compared to $5,833,333. Both amounts would be career-highs for Klitschko and Povetkin.
“We’re still in the deliberating stages, but all indications are that they want to bring the fight to Moscow,” said Loeffler. “Wladimir has never fought there. The targeted date is Aug. 31. Certainly, with that amount of money being offered, that is, from my understanding, the third highest purse bid in history. So again, that goes to show the value of the heavyweight division.
“It doesn’t mean that the fight has to be held in the United States, but it shows the marketability of a heavyweight championship fight. Apparently, Hryunov has some strong backing from Russia, so that’s how he was able to put the bid together. I’m pretty sure that it will be on HBO. HBO has expressed interest in the fight, so that would make the most sense. Regular HBO.”
Klitschko is coming off November’s unanimous decision victory over challenger Mariusz Wach, marking his 17th consecutive victory during a run that has included 12 knockouts.
Klitschko will be fighting for the second time since the death of former trainer Manny Steward on October of 25 at the age of 68. Chief sparring partner Johnathon Banks served as trainer for the fight against Wach at Steward’s urging before he passed.
Povetkin is coming off September’s second-round knockout of former undisputed champion Hasim Rahman that followed a disputed majority decision over cruiserweight titleholder Marco Huck in February of last year.
Photo by Michael Sterling Eaton, KMG.