WBA heavyweight regular champion Alexander Povetkin is targeting a unification bout with longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko after beating challenger Hasim Rahman, Povetkin’s manager Vlad Hrunov told R-Sport on Sunday.
Russia's Povetkin, 33, saw off former WBC and IBF champion Rahman with a second-round technical knockout to defend his title Saturday in Hamburg.
Hrunov said that talks would begin in earnest after Ukrainian WBA super, IBF and WBO champion Klitschko’s title defense against Poland’s Mariusz Wach on November 10.
“After that fight negotiations will start, the position of Klitschko and the WBA will be clear,” Hrunov said, warning that Klitschko could still be upset by Wach, who has a 27-0 record.
“A lot will depend on the result of Klitschko’s fight with Mariusz Wach, because anything can happen in a fight and Wach is an undefeated heavyweight.”
Beating U.S. fighter Rahman, 39, marks the undefeated Povetkin’s entry into the big time, Hrunov said.
“Everyone who was in the hall saw that this was the start of a very serious path,” he said.
“We’ve already seen a new understanding of boxing from Sasha [Povetkin], and the skills to implement a precise plan.”
He added that Povetkin would continue to work with his trainer Kostya Tszyu, a former IBF, WBC and WBA light welterweight champion, in order to take his skills to the next level.
The 33-year-old Povetkin improved to 25-0 with his 17th career knockout.
Rahman, 39, dropped to 50-8-2 after his first bout since June 2011.
Povetkin, who is nicknamed the White Lion and known as a strident Russian nationalist, won the WBA title in August 2011 by beating Ruslan Chagaev, and has since defended the belt against Cedric Boswell and Marco Huck.
Klitschko, the younger brother of WBC champion Vitali Klitschko, has a 58-3 record and has gone undefeated since 2004.