Trainer Jay Deas has informed WBN that the fight between Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin has been called off completely.
Wilder’s close friend and coach has helped ‘The Bronze Bomber’ reach the summit of the sport and was deep in training with his fighter for a scheduled mandatory defense against Povetkin in Russia on May 21.
Povetkin tested positive for Meldonium in a test taken by VADA at the back end of last month and led to the World Boxing Council releasing a statement on Sunday explaining the postponement of the contest.
The WBC had planned to release further details over the coming days, with the likeliness being that the bout would be scrapped, although Deas has now moved to end any speculation by insisting the fight will not go ahead at all.
“Deontay v Povetkin is not postponed, the fight is off,” Deas told World Boxing News.
“You can’t simply pick this fight up and move it to a different time and place. First, you have to tie up the loose ends and take into account any suspension will Povetkin face.
“We are gutted. We put in all the hard work and the time, money and effort but it’s all a wash now.
“We did everything right and have wanted this fight since day one. When Povetkin asked the WBC for a postponement in 2015 we stayed active and ready. We feel like we’ve come so far to run into a dead end. We will take some time off and come back strong. Deontay will continue to lead the charge for a clean sport and a level playing field for all.
“Deontay wants to be the most active champion in boxing and will wait for no one. We are very, very frustrated by this turn of events and will look at all our options going forward.”
Asked whether Deontay would consider arranging a quick defense of his green belt to compensate for their weeks of preparation, Deas said this won’t be the case and they will regroup before getting back to work.
“He did over one hundred rounds of sparring so he has to decompress. We have to proceed as if he just fought. He will go home, rest and come back to the gym in a few weeks,” he said.
It’s unknown what the WBC will order in the interim as their investigation continues into Povetkin’s case.
The WBA recently suspended Lucas Browne for six months for what the Aussie insisted was an act of sabotage, although Povetkin could face an even longer ban after testing negative twice before Meldonium eventually showed up in his system.
The most plausible scenario should see Povetkin out of the sport for some period of time which could, in turn, jeopardise the veteran’s career at the age of 36.