By Vadim Pushkin
According to veteran promoter Don King, his side lost close to $2 million as a result of the canceled fight between his heavyweight, Bermand Stiverne, and Russia's Alexander Povetkin.
Last month in Russia, Stiverne was scheduled to face Povetkin in a WBC final eliminator. A few hours before the event was scheduled to start, the World Boxing Council announced that Povetkin had tested positive for banned substance osterine - which has the same effects as anabolic steroids.
Stiverne refused to go forward with the fight after the WBC refused to sanction the contest due to Povetkin's positive test. The event was not canceled, as Johann Duhaupas stepped in as a late-replacement and was brutally knocked out in six rounds.
This marked the second time in the last seven months that Povetkin tested positive for a banned substance. Back in May, Povetkin failed a drug test just a few days before his scheduled bout with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. The fight was ultimately canceled.
A few weeks after the canceled fight, Wilder and his promoter Lou DiBella filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Povetkin and promoter Andrei Rybinsky in Manhattan federal court. Ryabinsky filed a counter-suit for defamation.
"Stiverne was very disappointed, he lost $1.5 million plus we lost the money invested in its preparation... about 300-400 thousand dollars We lost the purse bid, we had invested in training, flights, . visas for the whole team, we also lose the money that should have received after the fight. All of the losses that have occurred... it's just a disaster. Nobody can predict what will happen in the future with this fight, but in this situation we are victims. We were seriously hurt in terms of money, and mentally," King told Elena Sobol.
King has yet to make a final decision on whether or not he intends to sue Povetkin and Ryabinsky. The WBC is investigating the situation and plan to open Povetkin's B-sample on Thursday.
"To a certain extent, this is not a thing that can be foreseen. In fact, I do not know [what the WBC will do]. Given the fact that the WBC should maintain cleanliness in the fights that they authorize and carry out, in the event that there is evidence of his guilt - they will have to remove him for a few years," King said.
Back in April of 2014, King's fighter Guillermo Jones was scheduled to face Ryabinsky's fighter, Denis Lebedev, in a rematch.
Just a few short hours before the fighters were scheduled to enter the ring in Moscow, the promoters received information that Jones had tested positive for a banned weight-cutting agent. Lebedev refused to go forward with the fight and their main event was canceled.
It was the second time that Jones had tested positive for the same banned substance. He was popped the first time after his 2013 knockout win over Lebedev.
In May of 2014, Ryabinsky filed a lawsuit against King to recover monetary damages from the canceled main event - as Ryabinsky was forced to issue refunds to the entire sold-out venue .
A Manhattan federal judge sided with Ryabinsky and awarded him $1.6 million. The amount issued was for arranging the fight, fees, advertising, equipment installation and $800,000 that King was paid as a guarantee of Jones’ participation.
Under the agreement, $250,000 was paid in advance, and King was supposed to receive the remaining $550,000 after the fight. Otherwise, the money would have to be returned to Ryabinsky. However, after the fight was canceled, King still sought the $550,000, insisting that the fight was canceled “for questionable reasons.”