By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder didn’t get the chance to beat Alexander Povetkin in the ring, but he did defeat him in court.
Promoter Lou DiBella sent out a Tweet on Monday afternoon that indicated a jury in a Manhattan federal court ruled in favor of Wilder in the WBC heavyweight champion’s breach-of-contract lawsuit against Povetkin and his promoter, Andrey Ryabinsky. Wilder sued for $5 million in damages because their May 21 fight in Moscow was canceled due to Povetkin’s postitive test for meldonium, a banned performance-enhancing drug.
Wilder was supposed to make $4.5 million for that title defense, his split of a purse bid won by Russia’s Ryabinsky. The WBC canceled the Wilder-Povetkin fight six days before it was supposed to take place.
Russia’s Povetkin (31-1, 23 KOs), who attended the trial, was the mandatory challenger for Wilder’s title when he tested positive. Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs), who also attended the trial, is scheduled to make an optional defense of his title against Gerald Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs) on February 25 in Birmingham, Alabama (FOX).
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Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.