By Keith Idec
Yet another Deontay Wilder opponent has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
The WBC informed promoter Lou DiBella on Tuesday that Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk (33-1, 19 KOs) has tested positive for an undisclosed PED. Wawrzyk was supposed to challenge Wilder for the WBC world heavyweight title February 25 at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, but DiBella told BoxingScene.com that he is looking for a replacement for Wawrzyk.
One source said a potential substitute forWawrzyk in a main event scheduled to air on FOX is undefeated Gerald Washington. The 34-year-old Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs) is scheduled to appear on the Wilder-Wawrzyk undercard, but his opponent hasn’t been secured for a fight that would be televised by FS1.
Washington’s willingness to take such a difficult fight on about a month’s notice is unknown. Regardless, Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) isn’t expected to face a top opponent because this will be his first fight since the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native had surgeries five months ago to repair injuries to his right hand and right biceps.
WBRC, a FOX television affiliate in Birmingham, was the first to report Tuesday night that Wawrzyk failed a PED test and no longer will face Wilder next month.
Unlike the last time an opponent tested positive for a PED, Wilder is not expected to postpone this fight.
When Wilder’s title defense against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, scheduled for May 21 in Moscow, was scrapped due to Povetkin’s positive test for meldonium, Wilder didn’t fight until nearly two months later. The 31-year-old Wilder dominated Chris Arreola (36-5-1, 31 KOs, 2 NC) in that July 16 bout in Birmingham, but suffered the two aforementioned injuries during that technical knockout victory.
Wilder’s title defense is supposed to headline a FOX tripleheader February 25.
In one of those televised bouts, heavyweights Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs), of Alhambra, California, and Izu Ugonoh (17-0, 14 KOs), of Szczecin, Poland, are set to meet in a 10-rounder. Neither Breazeale nor Ugonoh is being considered as potential replacements for Wawrzyk.
The third TV fight will match emerging junior middleweight Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, against Detroit’s Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) in another 10-rounder.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.