Don King To WBC: Declare Stiverne Champion

In the aftermath of Saturday’s news that the WBC Interim heavyweight title fight in Russia between former heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne and top-ranked Alexander Povetkin had been cancelled because Povetkin tested positive for drugs again, Hall of Fame promoter Don “Only In America” King offered a simple solution:

Declare his fighter, Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), of Las Vegas, the interim champion.

“I’ve had a long-standing respect with the WBC, beginning with Jose Sulaiman and now with his son, Mauricio, who has done an incredible job filling his father’s shoes as WBC president and just got re-elected for four more years. I stand with them and with the WBC for trying to do things the right way and with their organization’s safety procedures in regard to the boxers and the sport.

“It’s sad but this guy, Povetkin, has become a total embarrassment. He’s now tested positive in two WBC heavyweight title fights in a row. I’m all for winning and losing fights in the ring, but it’s time for justice to prevail. I don’t know what’s going on over there with so many Russian athletes in so many sports testing positive for drugs, but it has to stop. They cannot be allowed to continue to do things the way they are.

“The WBC should declare Stiverne world champion, make him the mandatory for (WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay) Wilder, and let’s move on with it. There are a lot of great heavyweight fights that can be made with willing boxers who don’t break the rules every fight.

“I’m very disappointed for Bermane, who’s now gone through two training camps with nothing to show for it. Why put up all that money for travel and expenses and then have no fight. He was ready to beat Povetkin and regain a part of the WBC title.

“And then – worse yet — for them to try and put it on Bermane for not fighting is just ludicrous. They’re taking the victim and trying to set him up as the criminal in this.’’

Stiverne pulled out after the WBC withdrew its sanction because Poverkin tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman revealed the positive test by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) on Saturday morning. Then, the WBC withdrew its recognition of the fight.

“There’s no reason to fight if the WBC won’t sanction the bout,” said Stiverne, who could have gone through with the bout but without the sanction opted not to. “I’m very disappointed in the actions of Povetkin. I’ve been training for months to be victorious.

“To wake up the day of the fight, have breakfast, take a nap and then find out he tested positive is the worst possible situation.”

This is the second time in seven months Povetkin (30-1-0, 22 KOs) has tested positive for a banned substance. He tested positive for Meldonium ahead of a scheduled May bout with Wilder, cancelling that fight.

If it had transpired, the winner of the fight for the WBC interim heavyweight title would have become the mandatory challenger to Wilder. Stiverne lost the WBC title to Wilder on a 12-round decision on Jan. 15, 2015. He’s the only fighter to go the distance with Wilder.

Stiverne: “I’m very disappointed in the actions of Povetkin. I’m headed back home to Las Vegas”

Former World Boxing Council (‘WBC’) Heavyweight Champion BERMANE STIVERNE (25-2-1, 21 KO’s), of Las Vegas, Nevada, has elected not to face #1 ranked contender ALEXANDER POVETKIN, (30-1-0, 22 KO’s) today after Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine and the World Boxing Council withdrew their recognition of the fight.

The positive test reported by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association was revealed by WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman on Saturday morning local time.

Said Stiverne, “There’s no reason to fight if the WBC won’t sanction the bout, I’m very disappointed in the actions of Povetkin. I’ve been training for months to be victorious.”

“To wake up the day of the fight, have breakfast, take a nap and wake up to find out he tested positive is the worst possible situation.”

“I’m headed back home to Las Vegas, hopefully the WBC will install me as the mandatory challenger to face (current WBC Heavyweight World Champion) Deontay Wilder. I want the opportunity to fight for the world title again, that was my whole reason to come to Russia was to earn that opportunity.”

The winner of Povetkin vs. Stiverne, contested for the WBC Interim Heavyweight Title, would have become the mandatory challenger for Wilder as declared previously by the WBC.

Stiverne lost a 12-round unanimous decision and the WBC Heavyweight Title to Wilder on January 17, 2015 in Las Vegas.

Alexander Povetkin – Bermane Stiverne on Saturday

Former World Boxing Council (‘WBC’) Heavyweight Champion BERMANE STIVERNE (25-2-1, 21 KO’s), of Las Vegas, Nevada, with a week getting acclimated to the bitter cold in Russia, will battle #1 ranked contender ALEXANDER POVETKIN, (30-1-0, 22 KO’s) this Saturday, December 17 at the Ekaterinburg Expo Center in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

At the weigh-in on Friday, Povetkin weighed in at 223.7, while Stiverne tipped the scales at 249.3.

The winner of their highly anticipated clash will be the Mandatory Challenger to current WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder. The fight will be telecast live online at www.vsenabox.ru with a scheduled start at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT in the United States.

“I’m used to it, I lived in Montreal, Canada. It’s the same kind of weather, probably colder in Russia because when it’s cold in Montreal it’s like January or February. It’s nothing I’ve never seen before.”

Speaking about the clash on Saturday night, Stiverne stated, “I do plan to win by KO. I have to. I can’t come all the way here and let the judge make my decision – I got to have make my own decision.”

“When I say I’m going to knock him out, it’s not any disrespect thing or I’m trying to trash talk, this is what I believe and this is what I trained for. Anybody who would come here and try and get a decision in his backyard would be a fool to believe that.”

“It’s the same thing if he came to my home, he has to try to knock me out. And what better way to win a title than by knockout!”

About the overall division and the possibility of facing Wilder with a victory on Saturday night, the Haitian born Stiverne said, ““This is my main focus, now I get to be a two-time heavyweight champ so it’s a great motivation.”

“The heavyweight division is exciting. It was quiet for a little bit of time, but now it’s back in action and is back where it used to be and I’m happy to be a part of it or in the mix.”

Stiverne lost a 12-round unanimous decision and his heavyweight title to Wilder on January 17, 2015 in Las Vegas.

POVETKIN vs. STIVERNE is presented by World of Boxing in association with Don King Productions.

Stiverne recently partnered with the FHBA (Fédération Haitienne De Boxe Amateur) and is the face of Haitian Boxing bringing awareness and support to the underprivileged youth/athletes.

Alexander Povetkin, Bermane Stiverne -  In the aftermath of Saturday’s news that the WBC Interim heavyweight title fight in Russia between former heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne and top-ranked Alexander Povetkin had been cancelled because Povetkin tested positive for drugs again, Hall of Fame promoter Don “Only In America” King offered a simple solution:

Povetkin – Stiverne Quotes

Currently ranked #2 by the WBC, Stiverne is deep in training at his home gym in Las Vegas, the Mayweather Boxing Club under the watchful eye of longtime trainer Don House.

“I feel great, this fight has been in the making for a while so I’ve been here training at home,” said the Haitian born Stiverne.

“I’ve got a great opportunity with this fight to get back what I had. Deontay Wilder has my belt, he beat me on my worst night. All I want is the chance to win the world title again and Mauricio and the WBC say I have to go through Alexander Povetkin and that’s what I’m going to do on December 17.”

Stiverne lost a 12-round unanimous decision and his heavyweight title to Wilder on January 17, 2015 in Las Vegas.

Continued Stiverne, “I’ve watched a few of Povetkin’s fight’s, he’s similar in size to Chris Arreola but also very skilled from his deep amateur background, solid puncher but not the tightest defense.”

On April 27, 2013, Stiverne won a unanimous decision over Arreola in Ontario, California to earn the WBC Silver Heavyweight Title.

With the retirement of long reigning champion Vitali Klitschko, the WBC ordered Stiverne to face Arreola once again for the WBC World Heavyweight Title which took place on May 10, 2014 in Los Angeles. Fighting on Arreola’s home turf for the second time, Stiverne was victorious with a brutal sixth round knockout.

Most recently Stiverne won a 10-round unanimous decision over perennial contender Derric Rossy on November 14, 2015 in Las Vegas.

“I’m always training so the time off isn’t a concern of mine,” said Stiverne. “I’ve fought everywhere and a ring is a ring, no issue at all going to Russia. I’ll be well prepared for victory over Povetkin on December 17th and then it’s onto Wilder.”

POVETKIN vs. STIVERNE is presented by World of Boxing in association with Don King Productions.

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