Povetkin’s failed drug test threw a wrench in the works. The mini mega fight against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was cancelled as a result.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said in a statement, “In relation to challenger Povetkin’s test result, the WBC is conducting an in-depth investigation and evaluation of the situation. Further WBC rulings will be forthcoming.
“In the meantime, the WBC hereby rules that in light of the fact that the bout with challenger Povetkin did not take place as scheduled, WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder has the right to make a voluntary defense of his title as reasonably soon as possible.”
That was music to Wilder’s ears.
“I’m glad the WBC has allowed me to move forward and let me do what I love to do,” he told ESPN, “which is to perform for the fans.”
New Russian citizen Roy Jones Jr. has called for cooler heads in Russia.
“It’s a difficult situation,” said Jones, “and we were very worried because everything went wrong. He probably didn’t know it takes time for it to completely leave your body. The situation was considered normal because it was only legal at the start of the year, and he didn’t have enough time to clean up his body before the fight.”
With the sudden vacancy on his dance card, the Bronze Bomber can make a big statement if he wants.
He doesn’t have to fight a creampuff.
WBA World heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz (25-0, 22 KOs), the Real King Kong from Miami, Florida, by way of Camaguey, Cuba, has wanted to fight Wilder forever. That hasn’t changed, but he wants to fight now and he wants it bad.
“Tell Oscar to sign it,” Ortiz told FightHub. “I’ll knock Wilder out. Alexander Ustinov is planned for June or July. It’s just a matter of waiting for Oscar De La Hoya to lock it down and HBO. King Kong is here and he’s going to be the best in the world.”
Wilder won’t fight Ortiz. Not yet anyway.. But another foregone conclusion does little to advance Wilder’s career, or the sport, and the fight with Ortiz, while desirable, feels like it’s fallen off the radar.
Anthony Joshua (IBF) looks like the real deal. Tyson Fury (WBA) is the Gypsy King of the Hill until further notice.
The heavyweights are intriguing again.
Wilder might not fight King Kong next, but he has a fecund crop of contenders to choose from.
Bryant Jennings, Kubrat Pulev, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington, and last but not least the presumptive frontrunner Chris Arreola all said they’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.
Others want to fight Deontay Wilder, but they should know that the line starts in the rear.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.