Deontay Wilder vs Alexander Povetkin called off

15/05/2016 19:40

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's defence against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin on May 21 at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow has been called off.

American Wilder was due to make the fourth defence of his belt but his Russian opponent failed a drugs test.

Povetkin tested positive for meldonium, a substance that was added to the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) banned list last year, and the WBC has decided to postpone the bout, pending an investigation.

The WBC said in a statement: "The World Boxing Council is diligently addressing the positive test result from the Clean Boxing Program for mandatory heavyweight challenger Alexander Povetkin. Keeping the priority of safety and also the principle of justice, the WBC will continue the investigation into the case. Consequently, the event scheduled for May 21 in Moscow is hereby officially postponed. The WBC will be releasing more information in the coming days regarding the final ruling on the matter."

The rest of Saturday’s card will go ahead with the cruiserweight unification clash between WBA champion Denis Lebedev (28-1, 21 KOs) and IBF champion Victor Emilio Ramirez (22-2-1, 17 KOs) now the main event.