American Wilder has charges for domestic assault hanging over his head in the US, whilst trainer Jay Deas told WBN today that there is a real chance that his fighter may not be given permission to travel to London for the fight next month.
Powell has now spoken out after some criticism was levelled at Warren’s promotional team for the timing of the press conference, and clarified to WBN that he was in full communication with Wilder’s representative Eric Gomez throughout the time leading up to the notification.
“I spoke with Eric Gomez and reached agreement with him regarding Dereck Chisora and Deontay Wilder – he said ‘we are good to go’ and to send a draft contract over as the terms had been agreed,” Powell told World Boxing News.
“Then there were rumours circulating in the UK of Wilder’s problems over the weekend. However, I spoke with Eric and he informed that there would be no problem as it was only a minor offence and he had been released.
“On Wednesday evening (UK), I spoke to Eric and informed him that we were going to announce the fight and could we get some quotes from Deontay and Richard Schaefer. On Thursday morning (UK), I received an email from Eric asking the question: ‘Can you please hold on the announcement until Monday of next week?’ and stating: ‘everything is fine, don’t want any bad press because of the arrest.’
“I answered his question straight away that we could not do this as everything had been set up for the press conference, including the backdrop, and we had fighters coming from all over the UK and it was too late to cancel.
“I then received a further email once the press conference had finished saying please hold on the announcement as Eric had got a call from Deontay’s attorney saying that there is some legal issues with travelling to the UK because of the arrest for battery.
“Therefore, the terms for the fight which had been agreed, are as always whenever Eric and I have done business in the past, once Eric has informed me we have a deal then we have a deal.”
Chisora v Wilder still remains up the air as both sides get their respective point across, with Golden Boy having some work to do to get clearance for their fighter to participate in the bout.
Powell and Warren will now face an anxious wait to get the fight finalized, but may have to look into the possibility of putting a replacement on standby if Wilder is grounded by the US authorities.