WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder won his civil case against Alexander Povetkin in US Federal court on Monday.
The undefeated 31 year-old, who is set to defend his belt for the fifth time on February 25 against Gerald Washington, can now lay claim to a $4.5m purse.
Money from the contest, scheduled for May 2016 before Povetkin tested positive for meldonium with WADA, was held in escrow until the final outcome was reached.
Wilder was set for a career-high payday against Povetkin until the bout was scrapped just days from the first bell and promoter Lou DiBella has revealed his delight at the victory.
“Hopefully, this will be a further disincentive to PED use in boxing in the future. Justice and fairness in sports was served today. My thanks to our attorneys, Judd Burstein and Peter Schalk, and to the jury,” DiBella exclusively told World Boxing News.
Focus can now fully switch to fight night in 12 days time, ironically when Wilder meets Washington, a late replacement for initial opponent Andrzej Wawrzyk who had also tested positive for steroids through the WBC’s Clean Boxing Progrom.
Luckily for Wilder, Washington accepted the chance to challenge for the coveted green and gold belt, having racked up 15 wins and one draw through his career.
For Povetkin and promoter Andrey Ryabinsky, the court loss will almost certainly lead to an appeal as the Russian continues to protest his innocence.
Previously, Ryabinsky had provided evidence of only a small amount of drugs in the ex-world title holder’s system, although any amount is seen as too much and Povetkin now faces carrying the label for the remainder of his time in the sport.