The former WBA title holder seems on the verge of challenging to regain his old belt following what turned out to be a straight-forward win over Hammer.
Winning every round, the scorecards were only widened when Hammer was deducted a point for holding midway through the contest.
Other than that, Povetkin was just too skillful for Hammer who didn’t have an answer for the 38 year-old’s jab and combinations.
In the end, judges carded 120-108, 119-109 and 120-107, the latter of which mirrored the WBN card.
Povetkin has decided to take the WBA route in his quest for another shot at the world crown and will be pitted against Joshua in a mandatory over the coming months.
With Joshua negotiating a potential unification with Joseph Parker, Povetkin could be in line to meet the winner, delaying a clash with Deontay Wilder even longer.
In a statement on Friday, the WBA confirmed the situation by saying:
Russian Alexander Povetkin (32-1, 23KOs) became this Friday, December 15, the number one challenger to Englishman Anthony Joshua, current World Boxing Association (WBA) Heavyweight Super Champion.
Povetkin faced and defeated Romanian Christian Hammer on Friday. Thus, according to the previous resolution issued by the WBA Championships Committee that indicated that this would be an elimination fight for the Super Championship at more than 200 pounds, the Russian has the opportunity to challenge Joshua.
“Russian Vityaz”, as the boxer is known, is the second ranked boxer of the WBA Heavyweight ranking and holds the WBA-Continental title of the category.