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Deontay Wilder to face Alexander Povetkin in Russia, says promoter

Fighters Network
Deontay Wilder (L) vs. Artur Szpilka in January 2016. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Deontay Wilder (L) vs. Artur Szpilka in January 2016. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Time for Deontay Wilder and his team to get their passports in order because it’s off to Russia they will go to fight mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.

Promoter Lou DiBella tried to get the WBC title defense for Brooklyn but the Russian’s promoter, Andrei Ryabinski, won the purse bid to stage the fight. There were discussions to bring Wilder, the Slamma from Alabama, back to New York. His right hand ended the night for challenger Artur Szpilka two months ago at Barclays Center. And with the building owner being Russian, well, folks hoped the Bronze Bomber would be looking to again be explosive in Brooklyn.

Ryabinski now says it will happen in Povetkin’s home country.

DiBella, in Manhattan today for a presser to hype his April 16 PBC on NBC card, said wherever Wilder fights, he will hold the same advantage: His right hand is a nasty bit of business, a game changer. Brooklyn, Bama, maybe in front of Vladimir Putin, the aim is the same — end the game with a KO crack.

“I obviously would prefer if the fight was here,” DiBella said. “But you know (the) last time Povetkin fought in Russia, he didn’t have such a good time. And then Ruslan Chagaev just fought in Chechnya (Russia) and he didn’t have such a good time. So I have a feeling that maybe Povetkin is not going to have such a great time again.”

DiBella expects to hear in the next few days where and when the fight will take place. One unconfirmed rumor indicated the bout will take place at the end of May.