Exclusive: Wilder v Povetkin – May 21 in Moscow confirmed by trainer

Naoki Fukuda

Undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has begun camp for what many see as the American’s biggest challenge so far.

According to trainer Jay Deas, the 30 year-old, who boasts a perfect 36-0 record, has been given a date of May 21 in Moscow for his fourth defense of the green belt against tough Russian Alexander Povetkin.

“The fight between Deontay and Alexander Povetkin will happen on May 21 in Moscow,” Deas exclusively informed World Boxing News on Saturday.

Asked whether Wilder could be tempted to switch his workouts to Europe nearer the time of the fight, Deas added: “We are already in training in Alabama and will make decisions regarding the rest of the camp soon.”

Wilder was handed his mandatory duty by the World Boxing Council as far back as last summer, although Povetkin asked for more time to prepare after defeating Mariusz Wach in November 2015.

Holding the fight off until this spring allowed Wilder to make another successful outing against Artur Szplika this year and ready the world title holder for what will be his first ever bout on Russian soil.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ is no stranger to travelling though having fought in Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Mexico during his standout career so far, whilst Povetkin has enjoyed home comforts for the past two years since leaving Sauerland for wealthy compatriot Andrey Rabyinsky.

A former Olympic gold medallist, Povetkin, 36, has lost just once as a professional against Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, but will begin as the slight underdog (at evens, Wilder is 4/5 on) despite once again fighting in his own backyard.