Wilder-Povetkin fight status up in the air
By Patrick McHugh: Earlier today the World Boxing Council released news of former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) testing positive for a banned substance meldonium, which now has his scheduled May 21 title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (36-0, 35 KO) very much in doubt.
Wilder-Povetkin are supposed to be facing each other at the Khodnyka Ice Palance in Moscow, Russia. The positive on Povetkin’s “A” sample means there will likely be a second test on his “B” sample to verify the results.
The WBC will make the call whether the Wilder-Povetkin fight will take place or not. It would be understandable for Wilder to want the fight to go ahead because he stands to get his biggest payday of his career in this fight. According to ESPN, Wilder will be getting $4,504,500 for the fight compared to challenger Povetkin’s $1,930,500.
This would be a career-high payday for Wilder, and he’s not going to make that kind of money in defending his title against any of the other challengers in the division. The only way Wilder can make similar money is fighting a unification match against IBF champion Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury, and those fights might not come around for some time.
The Wilder vs. Povetkin fight is a big one for both fighters, and it’s hard to imagine the fight will be canceled over this. However, Lucas Browne was recently stripped of his WBA title by the WBA after testing positive for the weight loss drug clenbuterol. The WBA not only stripped Browne of his title and gave it back to Ruslan Chagaev, but they also suspended him for six months.
If the WBC is going to take the same hardball stance with Povetkin, then we could see him lose out on a world title shot and suspended.
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