Wilder promoter opens door for fights with British rivals

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NEW YORK: Unbeaten heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder could be in line to face rival undefeated British ring kings Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua after a planned bout next Saturday in Moscow was canceled.

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Lou DiBella, Wilder’s promoter, said that any talk of rescheduling a new fight date for Wilder to meet Russian Alexander Povetkin, who tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, was “unfounded and premature.”

The World Boxing Council orderd the fight not be staged next week after the doping positive, DiBella saying Povetkin breached the fight contract and Wilder “will await further communications from the WBC and will weigh all our options given what has transpired.”

Those options could include WBC champion Wilder, 36-0 with 35 knockouts, working toward unifying the heavyweight crown by meeting either International Boxing Federation champion Joshua, 16-0 with 16 knockouts, or World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization champion Fury, 25-0 with 18 knockouts.

“This is a huge disappointment and a setback to my goals in boxing,” Wilder said. “It is still my goal to collect all the belts and become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”

Fury will defend his titles in a rematch against Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko on July 9 in Manchester. Fury took a unanimous decision over Klitschko, 64-4 with 53 knockouts, last November in Germany to claim the crowns.

Joshua is set to defend his title against American Dominic Breazeale, 17-0 with 15 knockouts, on June 25 in London. Joshua took the crown last month by knocking out previously unbeaten US fighter Charles Martin.

Wilder, 30, had been training in England for the past two weeks and was to fly to Moscow on Sunday, instead flying home to Alabama for further developments.

AFP

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