Erfurt (Germany): Russia`s Alexander Povetkin won the vacant WBA heavyweight title here on Saturday with a points victory over Uzbek Ruslan Chagaev.
The three judges came down in favour of Povetkin with 117-113 on two cards and 116-112 on the third as the 2004 Olympic champion took the title left vacant when Ukraine`s Wladimir Klitschko was promoted to super champion status.
Povetkin, unbeaten from 22 fights with 15 knock-outs, now has the chance to take on the undisputed champion Klitschko, who earned a unanimous decision over Britain`s David Haye last July to add Haye`s WBA belt to his IBF and WBO crowns.
The 31-year-old Russian marked points at the beginning of the fight with his speed and agility along with fast combinations to the face and body.
Chagaev, nicknamed the `White Tyson`, went for the knock-out blow and landed some big left hand jabs in the sixth and seventh rounds before his rival regained the initiative.
For 32-year-old Chagaev, who has 17 knock-outs from 27 victories, it was his second defeat after falling to Klitschko in 2009.