It seems there is a good chance the show will go on today in Russia. With the Alexander Povetkin fight off due to Povetkin coming up positive for a banned substance and Bermane Stiverne understandably opting to fly home to Las Vegas in disgust, it could be that Frenchman and former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas, 34-3(21) will step in to fight Povetkin in a non-title fight.
Reigning WBC cruiserweight champ Tony Bellew, who will face David Haye in a huge British showdown at heavyweight next March, will leave the ring as a world champion regardless of the outcome of the fight. Bellew has revealed to Sky Sports how he has been given a “special exemption” by the WBC, that allows his mandatory defence – against the winner of the April Marco Huck-Mairis Breidis fight – to be delayed until August of next year.
News broke late last night US time stating how Russia’s Alexander Povetkin failed a drugs test, the announcement coming from the WBC President Jose Suliaman just hours before Povetkin’s scheduled fight with Bermane Stiverne. The fight, which was set for today, and would contest the interim WBC heavyweight title (the winner to face full champ Deontay Wilder some time next year) is now in serious jeopardy.
The WBC has been forced to withdraw its sanction of the bout, meaning that if the fight does still go ahead it will be a non-title clash. Povetkin reportedly tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine, the fighter’s sample, given to a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, reportedly coming up positive for the drug. As fans will no doubt recall, Povetkin also tested positive for medonium ahead of his scheduled fight with Wilder back in May.
There is always a tremendous buzz around the big fight that plays out on Cinco de Mayo weekend, the huge celebration in Mexico, and next year it could be an all-Mexican showdown that gets the big stage. As fans may have read, there is talk of a Saul Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Junior fight taking place next year – with both sides interested in the fight and currently in talks – and according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com the fight could be staged on May 6.
Boxing history could be made on April 29th at Wembley in London, in a number of ways. The heavyweight title clash between reigning and defending IBF heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua and former lineal king Wladimir Klitschko – which will also contest the vacant WBA belt – could smash the record for most tickets sold for a boxing match. The current record of almost 80,000 tickets sold was set by Carl Froch and George Groves a couple of years back, but now there are realistic expectations of 90,000 tickets being shifted for the clash of generations next April.
If Klitschko wins he will be one of the very few three-time heavyweight champions in history, and as far as ticket prices go for the big fight, the record for the most expensive ringside seat will be broken next April. How much for a VIP ringside seat? £800? No. £1,000? No. £1,500? No again. A VIP seat at ringside can be yours for, get this……£2,000 (approx $2,490 US). A regular ringside ticket will set you back the considerable sum of £800.
Fight fans roared their approval over the December 10 under-card at The Manchester Arena; both during the action that supported the headline act that saw Anthony Joshua blast out Eric Molina and afterwards. There have been no complaints about having parted with pay-per-view cash for the card, despite the disappointing (if predictable) headline fight.
The fan approval largely stemmed from the quite fantastic FOTY candidate that was the heavyweight war between bitter British rivals Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. Indeed, this fight stole the show, leaving fans, pundits and experts alike breathless. The call for a rematch began almost immediately and promoter Eddie Hearn says it is definitely a possibility for next year – only this time, the fight will be deservedly elevated to headline status.
Weigh-In Results: Povetkin – 101,5 kg (223,7 lbs), Stiverne – 113,1 kg (249 lbs)
Former WBC heavyweight champ Bermane Stiverne could well be having the last big fight of his career on Saturday night in Ekaterinburg. The 38-year-old faces Russian hero Alexander Povetkin in an attempt at becoming the interim WBC champ and Stiverne says he knows he needs a KO to win.
Speaking with RT Sport just after the official press conference, a smiling and relaxed-looking Stiverne, 25-2-1(21) said there is no way he will get a decision over Povetkin should the fight go the full 12 rounds, and that he has trained for the KO.
As reigning WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder says, the heavyweight division is coming alive again. And Wilder, who is itching to get back in the ring, says he wants to keep it that way. Speaking at the WBC convention, Wilder said he wants to fight the winner of the April clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.
The April 29th fight, set for Wembley, promises to be a huge event – with promoter Eddie Hearn speaking about the possibility of 90,000 tickets shifting – but Wilder against the winner could be even bigger.