Deontay Wilder’s title fight with Alexander Povetkin has an address
Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title defense against Alexander Povetkin on May 21 finally has a landing spot: Megasport Arena (formerly known as Khodynka Ice Sport Palace) in Moscow, Russia. Povetkin promoter Andrey Ryabinsky confirmed the news on his Twitter account on Monday, giving shape to a fight that has taken on a shroud of secrecy in the United States because of Ryabinsky’s control over the specifics.
There were rumors that, despite Ryabinsky acquiring the rights to the fight with a winning purse bid in February, the bout would still take place in the US., specifically at Barclays Center, which is owned by the Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. But Ryabinsky, who won the purse bid with an offer of $7.15 million, put to rest such talk with his Twitter post on Monday. BoxingScene’s Jake Donovan was the first to report the news.
The multi-purpose Megasport Arena, which boasts a max capacity of 13,926, isn’t a stranger to boxing. The last match it hosted was a card headlined by Denis Lebedev’s decision win against a diminished James Toney in Nov. of 2011. Lebedev is scheduled to face Argentina’s Victor Ramirez in a cruiserweight unification match in the May 21st co-feature for the WBA and IBF titles.
The 6-foot-7 Wilder (36-0, 35 knockouts) last defended his title with a devastating ninth round knockout of Artur Szpilka in January at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) represents Wilder’s toughest test to date. The Russian will try again to win a major alphabet title after he came up short in a decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. Povetkin beat former WBA titleholder Ruslan Chagaev in Aug. of 2011.