Exclusive: Sulaiman happy with Povetkin procedure, reveals Stiverne purse bid details
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman feels completely satisfied with his organisation’s handling of the Deontay Wilder v Alexander Povetkin saga following the postponement of the anticipated fight earlier this year.
Wilder was due to defend his WBC heavyweight title against the mandatory challenger on Povetkin’s home soil back in May, although the fight was called off with just days to go in a row over meldonium use.
Povetkin applied the substance to part of his training regime until it was added to the banned list in January and small traces of the meldonium were subsequently found in a pre-bout test as fight week approached.
The WBC put safety first and launched an investigation, and after some weeks, Povetkin was excused due to guidelines laid out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Meldonium could show up in samples until October this year, according to WADA, as the substance would not be completely clear from the system off all athletes who used it.
Since then, Wilder has been sidelined following surgeries for bicep and hand injuries suffered in a replacement victory over Chris Arreola and won’t be able to face Povetkin anytime soon.
The WBC reacted by ordering an interim clash between Povetkin and former belt holder Bermane Stiverne which has just a couple of weeks left to finalize negotiations until the WBC Board step in.
“I’m very satisfied with the WBC’s procedure because we took the time needed to make sure everything was assessed, addressed and we can only rule with what information is available,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News.
“There is so much scientific confusion regarding that specific substance and we proceeded correctly with safety first and justice second. I believe we made the right decision.”
Regarding the new eliminator fight, Sulaiman added: “We ordered the free negotiation period for Povetkin v Stiverne, and if there is no agreement there will be a purse bid in mid-September.
“I have not heard anything from either camp yet, but Don King said he’s excited to be back in the mix at heavyweight (with Stiverne) and he feels it will be a great fight, so I also think it will be a great match,” he said.