Exclusive: Sulaiman to make Wilder mandatory decision upon return

Ryan Hafey

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder doesn’t have to worry about when a fight against the winner of Alexander Povetkin v Bermane Stiverne will take place as the American recovers from multiple surgeries.

Wilder, 30, defeated Chris Arreola in July after an original clash with Povetkin fell apart whilst an investigation into the Russian for banned substance meldonium took place. During the fight, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ suffered hand and biceps injuries and is set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

In the interim, the World Boxing Council have ruled that Povetkin must earn his mandatory spot once again by facing number two contender and former champion Bermane Stiverne, with the winner then getting their chance at Wilder.

As Wilder is unlikely to fight in 2016, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman was asked whether the undefeated knockout artist would have to face either Povetkin or Stiverne immediately when fully fit, to which he replied: “We never speculate or anticipate with uncertainties.

“Wilder will have all the time that he needs to recover from the multiple injuries that he suffered.

“I believe he has been under surgery three times. We are not going to put any pressure or limitations. He needs to recover, begin training, run and heal, so he will have all the time that he needs to come back.

“Once he comes back and he’s ready, training and officially informs us he’s ready to fight again, then we will address the situation,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News.

Povetkin v Stiverne is rumoured to already be in talks for November and could take place in Russia or the United States on a high-profile bill, as both aim to land a massive title opportunity in the coming year.