In light of #1 WBC Alexander Povetkin’s positive drug test for the banned drug ostarine, promoter Don King wants the World Boxing Council to make his fighter Bermane Stiverne the interim WBC heavyweight champion. The 38-year-old Stiverne would then be able to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
The WBC is going to be making a decision soon about what to do with their interim WBC title. They need to make a decision so that they can find an opponent for the 31-year-old Wilder, who has yet to make his mandatory defense of his WBC title despite holding the title for almost two years now.
Next month, Wilder will have been the WBC heavyweight champion for two solid years. It’s never good when a champion doesn’t defend against his mandatory for two years. It might be good for the champion, but it can’t be a good thing for boxing or for the contenders that are waiting patiently for their title shots.
Stiverne was scheduled to fight Povetkin last Saturday night on December 17 at the Ekaterinburg Expo Center in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The positive drug test for Povetkin caused Stiverne to pull out of the fight. Povetkin still fought in beating replacement opponent Johann Duhaupas by a 6th round knockout. Povetkin was going to be able to fight for the interim WBC title. The WBC decided not to sanction the fight for their title because of Povetkin’s positive test.
“To say that I am very saddened and extremely disappointed that Alexander Povetkin was caught again using banned substances would be an understatement,” said King. “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.”
If the WBC isn’t going to declare Stiverne as their interim WBC champion, then they should order him to fight the next available contender that is agreeable to fighting him for the interim WBC belt. Kubrat Pulev is rated #3 by the WBC. However, he’s also rated #1 by the IBF, and the money for a fight against Anthony Joshua is likely more than Pulev would get against Wilder. #5 WBC Bryant Jennings might be open to fighting Stiverne for the interim WBC title. That would be a good fight if it could be made. Jennings recently was knocked out by Luis Ortiz though.
Wilder is interested in fighting an unification match against Joshua in 2017. That fight will likely need to happen at the end of the year rather than the beginning, because Joshua is already scheduled for a fight against Wladimir on April 29.