Easily the most notable bout is in Russia as former WBA champion Alexander Povetkin (26-1, 18) battles against former WBC title challenger Manuel Charr (26-1, 15) in a bout that we are really looking forward to. This bout, although not technically an eliminator, is a WBC international title fight and we're hoping that the winner will be shooting to a top 5 place. With the bout being in Russia we do favour Povetkin, slightly, though expect this will be a genuine tear up as Charr forces the action and Povetkin tries to answer back. It may not be the best Heavyweight fight in recent years but it could well remind us of Povetkin's thriller with Marco Huck.
Whilst the Povetkin/Charr bout is by far the best Heavyweight fight it's not the best card, that honour is instead in Germany as we get a full card of Heavyweight action across varying levels.
For us one of the most interesting bouts is one of the under-card contests as the young Tom Schwarz (5-0, 3) battles novice Andre Bunga (1-1, 1) in the first 6 rounder of Schwarz's promising career. Schwarz isn't the only unbeaten man on the card as Romania's Ante Verunica (1-0, 1) is also in action. Verunica, unfortunately for him, has a much tougher test than Schwarz however and will be fighting the hard hitting Lukas Filka (6-3, 5), who has stopped his last 4. Although Filka is unproven the Slovakian does have a notable experience edge and could give Verunica some problems if the Romanian isn't as good as his team are hoping.
The unbeaten men mentioned above are in 2 of the 4 bouts scheduled for 6 rounds. One of the other 6 rounders will see the big punching Sevdail Sherifi (10-3-3, 9) battle against the limited David Vicena (7-20-2, 5) in what looks to be a mismatch whilst the other 6 rounder will see Samir Nebo (5-1-1, 1) fight against Artsiom Charniakevich (1-3, 1).
The only bout scheduled for 8 rounds on the German show will see Konstantin Airich (20-8-2, 16) battle against Marcel Gottschalk (11-6-2, 9) in a bout we don't imagine will go the distance. Both guys are heavy handed and although both usually durable we think this one will finish early.
In the first of two title bouts on the show looks like a very promising contest as the limited but very heavy handed Steffen Kretschmann (17-2-0-1, 15) battles Oezcan Cetinkaya (21-8-2, 14). It's hard to see anything but a Kretschmann win but both guys can bang and both are vulnerable. The winner of this will take home the German International Heavyweight title giving both men some silverware to try and win.
Following on from the international title fight we then have a WBO European title bout as former world title challenger Francesco Pianeta (29-1-1, 16) battles against Frenchman Mickael Vieira (14-3-2, 7) in a very interesting looking contest. Pianeta, although he looked horrible against Wladimir Klitschko, isn't a bad fighter, and will be favoued here though Viera is far from a bum and could put up an interesting challenger to the Italian, certainly a better one than Robert Tueber was last December.
In Pennsylvania the unbeaten Imani Bell (1-0, 1) will be fighting the debuting Ashwin Trails (0-0). The surprising thing here is that Bell, aged 35, will be fighting for the first time in almost 4 years. The only other Heavyweight bout in North American this Friday will see Mexico's limited Raymundo Crispin (2-2) battle against the win-less Victor Avila (0-1) in Mexico City.