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Alexander Povetkin to defend title Dec. 3

10/24/2011 - Boxing

Alexander Povetkin, who claimed a version of the heavyweight title with a unanimous decision against former titleholder Ruslan Chagaev in August, will make his first defense against American Cedric Boswell, promoter Sauerland Event announced.

Povetkin, a 2004 Russian Olympic gold medalist, will meet Atlanta's Boswell on Dec. 3 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.

"Winning (a) world title was like a dream coming true for me," said the 32-year-old Povetkin, who is trained by ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas. "Now I need to prove myself against quality contenders out there. I look forward to fighting Boswell. He is a tough opponent. But I have worked so hard to become champion there is no way I will allow him to take the belt away from me. I can promise my fans an exciting fight in Helsinki on Dec. 3."

The reason the card is in Finland is because heavyweight contender Robert Helenius, the country's top fighter, is also scheduled to box on the show, although his opponent is not yet set.

Povetkin (22-0, 15 KOs) and Helenius (16-0, 11 KOs), who could be headed to an eventual fight with each other, will be fighting on the same card for the second time in row. The card is likely to be televised live in the United States on Epix, which is in the process of finalizing a deal with Sauerland Event.

In August, Epix televised Povetkin's win against Chagaev and Helenius' ninth-round knockout of former titleholder Sergei Liakhovich. Helenius also owns knockout wins against former titleholders Samuel Peter and Lamon Brewster since last year.

"This is going to be a true night of heavyweight explosions," promoter Kalle Sauerland said. "Alexander Povetkin is one of the most exciting and fastest heavyweights since many years. He will prove his worth against Boswell, a world-class contender with an excellent record.

"On top of that, KO specialist and world-ranked No. 1 challenger Robert Helenius has set the bar very high for another massive performance after KO'ing three former champions. It is going to be a real advertisement for heavyweight boxing."

Despite a glossy record, this will be the first title bout for Boswell (35-1, 26 KOs), 42, who got the fight over the other leading candidate, former four-time titleholder Evander Holyfield.

Boswell's only defeat came via 10th-round knockout to then-contender Jameel McCline in October 2003. After the loss, Boswell, who has won 14 consecutive bouts, did not fight for 2½ years.

"My entire life I have been waiting this moment," Boswell said. "Now the big day has finally come. Povetkin is a good kid but he is a kid and he will be in trouble once we are in the ring. I have the experience and the strength to beat him. I will shock the boxing world on Dec. 3 when I take home the (belt) to America."

Wladimir Klitschko is the world-recognized heavyweight champion and added the WBA version of the heavyweight title to his collection by dominating David Haye in July. However, as the WBA regularly does in an effort to generate additional sanctioning fees, it created a second title in the division -- the "regular" title -- which Povetkin, who has repeatedly refused to fight Klitschko, won against Chagaev.

Dan Rafael is the senior boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.