Wilder needs new opponent, Wawrzyk fails drug test
By Jeff Aranow: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder got some bad news on Wednesday with his scheduled opponent Andrzej Wawrzyk testing positive for a banned drug. Wilder and Wawrzyk were supposed to be facing each other on February 25 on Premier Boxing Champions on Fox at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Wilder, 31, might still wind up defending his World Boxing Council strap if his management can find a replacement opponent. Wawrzyk was a voluntary defense for Wilder, so it’s possible that a replacement can be found to save the card.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman sent this tweet about Wawrzyk’s positive test:
“WBC confirms that Andrzej Wawrzyk has tested positive anabolic steroid ‘Stanozolol Metabolites’. The fight was contracted for out of competition surprise testing and this is how tragedies are prevented. There is no other way but Clean Boxing! Protect our boxers! Stand tall with VADA testing.”
One possible replacement option for Wilder is WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. He’s interested in fighting him. Parker’s management is reportedly in negotiations with Wilder’s promoters. Hopefully, the Wilder-Parker fight can get made. The winner of that contest will hold two of the four titles in the heavyweight division. It would set up a big money unification fight against IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua if he can get past Wladimir Klitschko in their fight on April 29. The winner of that fight will hold the IBF and WBA titles.
Parker’s mandatory challenger Hughie Fury will need to wait for his title shot if Parker and Wilder fight in a unification match. The unification fights come first before mandatory defenses.
For Parker to want to fight Wilder, he must like his chances of winning the fight. I don’t Parker would take the fight if he didn’t believe he can win. Parker was definitely pleased with the news of Wilder’s title defense against Wawrzyk falling apart.
Wawrzyk tested positive on January 15 and January 16, according to ESPN.
Wawrzyk and Wilder were being randomly tested — blood and urine — under the rules of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program, which is overseen by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
According to the letter sent by VADA president Dr. Margaret Goodman notifying those involved of the positive test and obtained by ESPN, Wawrzyk was given urine tests in Warsaw, Poland, where he lives, on Jan. 15 and 16. The results of both tests, which were returned Tuesday night, were positive, and the parties were notified.
In a letter from VADA sent to ESPN.com said this about Wawrzyk’s positive tests:
Wawrzyk’s s two tests were “analyzed for anabolic agents, diuretics, beta-2 agonists, stimulants and drugs of abuse. The results of the analysis for each specimen is as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen contains stanozolol metabolites.”
Wawrzyk has the option of having his B-samples tested for the banned drug. It’s unclear whether he will or not.
Wilder has had bad luck lately when it comes to defending his title. Last May, Wilder’s scheduled opponent Alexander Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, which wiped out their fight in Moscow, Russia. The Wilder-Povetkin fight was then called off.
Wilder’s promoter Lou Dibella still plans on having him fight on February 25 at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Dibella is going to be looking at other options, and he sounds confident that he’ll be able to find an opponent for Wilder.
If Dibella chooses someone from the WBC’s top 15, he’ll be deciding on one of these fighters:
– Bermane Stiverne
– Luis Ortiz
– Andy Ruiz Jr.
– Carlos Takam
– Dillian Whyte
– Gerald Washington
– Mariusz Wach
– Jarrell Miller
– David Price
– Andriy Rudenko