Saturday May 21st was supposed to be WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s next title defense as he travelled to Russia to face mandatory #1 challenger Alexander Povetkin. Unfortunately for fight fans the world round, the match has been postponed due to Povetkin testing positive for Meldonium in a pre-fight drug test. The WBC announced over the weekend tha tthe fight would not occur this weekend, but they did not hand down an official cancellation of the fight. The Russian camp, led by Povetkin and money backer Andrey Ryabinsky are holding out hope that the fight will happen. The drug in question, Meldonium, is the same drug that caught up Russian tennis star Maria Sharpova in a scandal earlier this year. In that case, Sharpova admitted to using the drug, stating that the she had a medical prescrition for it since 2006. The drug was only put on the list of banned substances at the start of this year. In her defense you can already see what Povetkin’s defense will be. Ryabinsky, the Russian billionaire who funded the fight and indeed has been behind most of Povetkin’s career has stated that Povetkin took the drug last September, when it was legal, and that the “positive” sample was only due to residual amounts of the drug in Povetkin’s system. The testing is being done by VADA (Voluntary Anti-Dpoing Association) and the failed test is the fourth of a series of tests that Povetkin has been subject to. Reports are that the three prior tests were passed. For his part, it is unclear what is next for Wilder. Povetkin is the mandatory challenger to his belt, and he has overcome a lot of challenges and questions to try and make the fight hasppen. If the WBC finds Povetkin had only trace amounts of the drug in his system they could move forward with the fight in relativerly short order. The fight had been a very close fight in the eyes of many observers, and the lines that were available before the fight was postponed reflect that. Below is the last line that was up prior to the announcement. Sat 5/21 – Khodynka Ice Palace – Moscow, Russia – Showtime Heavyweight 12 rounds – Alexander Povetkin +115 Deontay Wilder -135
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