Deontay Wilder vs Alexander Povetkin: (Evander Holyfield) Robbery all over again?
It appears WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KO) will fly to Russia to face Olympic gold medal winner and former WBA champion Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22KOs), the former's mandatory challenger, in May.
Decisions... decisions... Povetkin's promotional team won the purse bid last week and is looking for a home for Wilder vs Povetkin.
Povetkin's promoter, Andrei Ryabinsky, recently told BoxingScene: "I have 14 days to decide if the fight will take place in the United States."
"I admit that the fight could take place in Russia. I will review all of the involved factors, including public opinion, [when deciding on the location]."
Translated: It means Wilder vs Povetkin will likely happen in Moscow or somewhere else in Russia.
Of course, there was talk the WBC champ would sidestep Alex for now, pursue the winner of Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury 2 and, perhaps, face Povetkin in the U.S. sometime next year and as lineal heavyweight champion.
But Wilder has strongly denied the aforementioned rumor and his manager, Jay Deas, recently reaffirmed Deontay's sentiments.
"Deontay was in Russia several times when he fought as an amateur." For him it's not a problem to come to Russia to fight. Povetkin is a very tough and strong opponent. We are preparing for it. And Deontay is one hundred percent confident [of winning]," - Deas told BoxingScene.
... Should Team Wilder prepare for the judges, too?
Who remembers the last high-profile heavyweight bout in Europe between an American and Russian?
And no, that doesn't include Povetkin's meaningless stay-busy fights against opponents Cederic Boswell and Hasim Rahman when Alex owned a share of the WBA title.
Holyfield vs Valuev 2008
One word: Robbery.
It was one of the greatest heists of all time.
Outweighed by 96 lbs, then 46 year old fight legend Evander Holyfield boxed rings around WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev only to be robbed of a well earned, landslide decision.
"What a humiliating night for boxing," said ESPN's Dan Rafael afterwords. "The stench from this fight won't go away even with a strong wind."
"Frankly, you can make more of a legitimate argument that Holyfield won all 12 rounds than you can make one that Valuev claimed at least seven to take the fight."
Even the Swiss crowd booed bitterly after the decision was rendered.
Broadcaster Nick Charles, handling the blow-by-blow for the U.S. pay-per-view, added, "I am shocked, dazed and amazed. That is the worst display of officiating I have ever seen."
Given what happened to Holyfield in Switzerland, will Wilder be treated fairly in Russia?
If the fight goes the distance, we may have high drama in the moments before and after the verdict.
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