Heavyweight titleholder Alexander Povetkin and former champion Hasim Rahman are on the move.
While Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs) will still make his third title defense on July 14 against Rahman (50-7-2, 41 KOs), the mandatory challenger, the bout has been switched from the London card headlined by the heavyweight showdown between former titlist David Haye (25-2, 23 KOs) and former title challenger Dereck Chisora (15-3, 9 KOs) to a card of its own in Hamburg, Germany.
"It is due to organizational aspects," said Chris Meyer, the managing director of Sauerland Event, which promotes Povetkin. "The English time schedule was too tight. We wouldn't have been able to guarantee that the fight could have been broadcast live in Germany. Therefore the heavyweight world championship will be staged in Hamburg.
"There are not a lot of cities in Germany which can host such an event on such short notice. Hamburg is a real boxing city with a great audience and a lot of boxing tradition. Furthermore, the city possesses the required infrastructure to host such a big event."
British promoter Frank Warren, who is promoting Chisora-Haye, had made a deal with Sauerland Event to put Povetkin-Rahman on the London card.
However, Warren said that under his TV agreements, Chisora-Haye could not start later than 10 p.m. London time. But with German network ARD, which regularly televises Sauerland Event fights, wanting Povetkin-Rahman live before Chisora-Haye for its schedule in Germany, the time frame could not work with the time difference. Despite the change in venues, both fights will still be televised live in the United States on Epix (and streamed on EpixHD.com).
Povetkin, of Russia, will be fighting in Hamburg for the second time, but for the first time in seven years.
"My fourth fight as a pro was in Hamburg, back in 2005. Obviously, I remember that fight very well," Povetkin said through a translator. "I have also been there a few times to visit my promoter, Kalle Sauerland."
Also on the Hamburg card will be German junior middleweight prospect Jack Culcay (11-0, 7 KOs), a 2009 world amateur champion. His opponent has not been determined.