Povetkin hammers Perez in one and sets up WBC title shot

23/05/2015 08:05

Former world heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (29-1, 21 KOs) scored a spectacular first round knockout over Mike Perez (21-2, 13 KOs) in a WBC eliminator on Friday night at the Luzhniki Arena in Moscow, Russia.

The 2004 super heavyweight Olympic gold medalist hurt Perez with a right to the head and the Cuban southpaw never really recovered.

Moments later, the Russian dropped Perez with a crushing right hand from in close. Perez got back to his feet but was done. However, referee Massimo Barrovecchio let the bout continue and Perez was soon sent crashing down again from Povetkin's follow up assault. The fight was then waved off at 1:31 of the round.

This was the third straight KO victory for Povetkin since his points loss to IBF/IBO/WBA heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013. Povetkin is now the mandatory challenger to WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who defends the belt against Eric Molina on June 13.

Also on the card, WBC cruiserweight champion Grigory Drozd (40-1, 28 KOs) defeated replacement opponent Lukasz Janik (28-3, 15 KOs) by a 9th round  TKO.

Drozd dominated the action from the start, dropping the Polish challenger in the 7th round before referee Ian John-Lewis stopped the one-sided fight at 0:50 of the 9th round.

The Russian won the title with a unanimous decision over former champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk last September.

Janik took the fight on two weeks notice after countryman Wlodarczyk pulled out of the scheduled rematch due to illness.