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Don King presses WBC to make Stiverne mandatory to Wilder

Bermane Stiverne (right) vs. Chris Arreola. Photo by: Naoki Fukuda
Fighters Network

Promoter Don King pressed the WBC to make his fighter, Bermane Stiverne, the WBC heavyweight interim titleholder and the mandatory to face world champion Deontay Wilder after his opponent flunked a drug test before their fight.

Alexander Povetkin, who was scheduled to face Stiverne in Ekaterinburg, Russia on Saturday, tested positive for Ostarine in a sampling taken by the WBC/VADA’s Clean Boxing Program on Dec. 6. The WBC withdrew its sanctioning and the bout was canceled after Stiverne elected to return home to Las Vegas. It was the second time in 2016 that Povetkin flunked a VADA-administered drug test. Povetkin and Stiverne, the top two-ranked heavyweights in the WBC, were fighting for a vacant interim title and the right to face Wilder.

“To say that I am very saddened and extremely disappointed that Alexander Povetkin was caught again using banned substances would be an understatement,” King said in a prepared statement. “What is the WBC going to do about it will be the answer? Bermane Stiverne deserves better than that. Bermane should be declared the interim title holder. This is the second time Alexander Povetkin is in the drug abuse program and has embarrassed the WBC causing the WBC’s sanction of the fight as a world title fight being withdrawn.”

It should be noted that Stiverne also tested positive for a banned substance in the run-up to his fight with Povetkin last month. Stiverne showed evidence of methylhexaneamine (also known as dimethyamylamine or “DMAA”) in a test sample on Nov. 11. The WBC opted not to suspend Stiverne because it believed he did not intentionally or knowingly take a banned substance with the aim of enhancing his performance against Povetkin. Stiverne told officials he accidentally took a dietary supplement that contained the banned substance. The WBC is investigating the circumstances surrounding Povetkin’s second failed drug test and hopes to finish the inquiry by the first quarter of 2017.