Cleat Geeks

Deontay Wilder Goes For the KO by Suing Alexander Povetkin for $5 million

Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight contender, is suing Alexander Povetkin for the cancellation of their May 21st title bout. The lawsuit was actually jointly filled by not only Wilder, but also his promoter DiBella Entertainment as they jointly are suing not only No. 1 contender Alexander Povetkin but also his promoter, Andrey Ryabinskiy.deontay wilder

The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New York, seeks a minimum of $5 million in actual damages plus additional damages to be proven at trial. Ryabinskiy’s company, World of Boxing, earned the right to promote the bout via a purse bid in which its bid was $7.15 million. Out of that, Wilder’s purse was to be $4,369,365.

“Plaintiffs’ concerns about ensuring proper testing for banned substances became amplified when, in or around late March 2016, DBE received information that made it concerned that Povetkin was undergoing some kind of doping (i.e., use of banned substances) regimen,” the suit read. “In particular, DBE learned that Povetkin had traveled to Spain, which was highly suspicious considering that (i) it is common knowledge in the boxing industry that Povetkin does not like to train outside of Russia, and (ii) while Spain is not known to be a traditional place for boxers to train, it is notorious as an epicenter of doping. Based upon this information, DBE and Wilder began pressuring the WBC to immediately commence random doping testing for the Bout.”

According to the suit, when the parties couldn’t come to terms on an agreement for the bout, including on doping testing, the WBC announced on April 6 that it would draft rules that included a doping regimen run by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). The WBC noted that its rules would be “final and cannot be disputed.”

Povetkin passed tests on April 7, 8 and 11, but unfortunately, Povetkin tested positive for the banned Meldonium on April 27th and the fight was cancelled. Deontay Wilder lost alot of money not only because the breach in the contract,but sponsors that he had as well. Because it took so long to iron out the details of the fight, and the fight date was announced for May 21st and the fight was cancelled just days before by the WBC on May 15th the lawsuit also contains provisions in dollars to several sponsors who were upset at not only the cancellation, but the lack of notice between the cancellation date and the announced date of the fight. The fight was due to be held at Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow.wilder-povetkin_1


Deibella declined to discuss the legal case with reporters, his only comments were “My comment is that it speaks for itself.” We will see how this story plays out and when exactly the court process will begin.

Ironically, Wilder and DiBella Entertainment cited a case, World of Boxing v. King, that went in favor of Ryabinskiy in a similar situation. Guillermo Jones, a Don King-promoted fighter, tested positive for a banned substance and couldn’t compete against a WOB-promoted fighter. Ryabinskiy sued King for failing to produce with Jones winning a $2 million judgment.


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