By Edward Chaykovsky
Jay Deas, co-manager for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35KOs), says a deal for a mandatory fight against Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22KOs) could be finalized before the end of the month.
A purse bid has been scheduled by the World Boxing Counil for February 28th in Mexico City.
Povetkin was ringside last month at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Wilder knocked out Artur Szpilka in nine rounds to retain the WBC crown.
The date being mentioned for the fight is May 21st, at Barclsy, but Deas prefers the end of April to get Wilder back in the ring as soon as possible.
Povetkin has last fought in November, when he stopped Polish contender Mariusz Wach in the twelfth round in the main event of a major card staged in Russia.
“Negotiations are ongoing right now, and we're hopeful to reach an agreement in the next 10 days or so,” Deas said to the Tuscaloosa News. “I've seen reports that said May 21 is the likely date, but we'd prefer April 30. Our preference is to fight as soon as possible,” he said. “We've never been the side holding this fight up. We've wanted this fight for a while now.”
“I think with the large Russian population that's in New York, I think it's a natural for Brooklyn. Deontay is made for New York. He's already had the knockout of the year there. Add it all together and Brooklyn is a natural location. There's also interest from Las Vegas, Alabama, Mississippi and, of course, from Russia. If I had to guess the leaders would be New York and Moscow. Those are the two that have the biggest chances of getting it.”
The fight will match two Olympic medal winners - with Wilder capturing bronze for the United States and Povetkin securing a gold medal for Russia.