Alexander Povetkin, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and perennial world heavyweight championship contender, has confirmed he is retiring from the sport.
The 41-year-old veteran appeared last year to be gearing for one final crack at the ultimate prize in his weight class, having held secondary and interim titles during his pro career and unsuccessfully challenging Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua in his two bids to become unified world champion.
The potential third attempt became a possibility by virtue of his shock KO victory over fellow contender Dillian Whyte in the main event of week four of Matchroom Boxing's inaugural Fight Camp series back in August. Povetkin was dominated for four rounds and knocked down twice before landing a perfect jackpot uppercut from out of nowhere early in the fifth.
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Whyte sought to immediately exercise his rematch clause in order to re-take his mandatory challenger status from the Russian, but their second encounter was delayed multiple times when Povetkin contracted COVID-19.
In Gilbraltar in March, Whyte dominated their eventual return fight before finishing Povetkin off in what is now officially "Sasha"'s final fight.
In an official statement, Povetkin admitted the coronavirus and his advancing age are the chief reasons for him hanging up the gloves now.
“The years take their toll,” said Povetkin. “I have all kinds of injuries that still need to be treated. The time has come for me to end my career.”
Whyte took to Twitter to pay tribute to his recent rival and his career.
"Happy retirement to one of the best modern day heavyweights and a great champion," said Whyte.
"God bless you. Enjoy your next champter and thank you for two great fights."
Happy retirement to one of the best modern day heavyweight and a great champion god bless you enjoy your next chapter and thank your for two great fights @povetkinalexandr #truewarrior #respect pic.twitter.com/KLSL5hnduc— Dillian Whyte (@DillianWhyte) June 13, 2021