Russian Alexander Povetkin will face Cuban Mike Perez on May 22 in Moscow for the chance to challenge Deontay Wilder, the World Boxing Council have confirmed.
The bout is set to add more weight to the WBC cruiserweight title rematch between Grigory Drozd and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk which was recently announced to take place at the Ice Palace.
Povetkin, a former WBA champion, has worked his way back up the rankings after surrendering his title to Wladimir Klitschko with stoppage victories against Manuel Charr and Carlos Takam, whilst Perez did likewise with victory over Darnell Wilson in California last February on the back of losing to Bryant Jennings.
Those defeats remain the solitary reverses on both fighters’ records as the big hitters square-off for the chance to meet undefeated Wilder after the American claimed the coveted green belt from Bermane Stiverne in January.
Wilder went past four rounds for the first time in his career when picking up his first recognised belt and is now afforded a voluntary defense – which is still in the works.
Povetkin and Perez are currently one and two in the WBC ratings, just above WBO mandatory Tyson Fury and former title holder Stiverne. Fury is in line to face the winner of Klitschko v Jennings which takes place in the next few weeks.