icon Updated at 10:34 PM EDT, Fri Sep 2, 2016

Povetkin-Stiverne Talks Are "Extremely Difficult" - Purse Bid Likely

By Igor Lazorin, tass

According to Andrey Ryabinsky, who promotes Alexander Povetkin, the ongoing negotiations with Don King, for the mandatory fight with Bermane Stiverne - are extremely difficult and a purse bid is likely.

Ryabinsky is looking to have this fight staged in the United States.

"I have nothing against holding the fight in Russia, but it would probably better to take place in the United States. The negotiations are tough and extremely difficult, therefore, most likely, we will head to a bid," Ryabinsky said.

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The World Boxing Council ordered Povetkin and Stiverne to face each other to establish a mandatory challenger to WBC heavyweight king Deontay Wilder, who is recovering from injuries that were suffered in his last fight. Wilder suffered a broken hand and torn biceps muscle in his July knockout of Chris Arreola.

While Ryabinsky is looking to stage the fight in the United States, King is has suggested paying homage to Muhammad Ali by staging Povetkin vs. Stiverne in The Democratic Republic of Congo or the Philippines.

The WBC has said that the negotiation window for Povetkin v Stiverne opened on August 17, and if no deal is made by September 16 a purse bid will be conducted.

The Congo (formerly Zaire) hosted the "Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974 between Ali and George Foreman, while the Philippines hosted the legendary "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975 between Ali and Joe Frazier.

"This sparked the idea to do something fantastic by memorializing 'The Greatest of All Time' Muhammad Ali, to the benefit of the people," King said of the possibility of taking Stiverne-Povetkin to one of those two countries.

Wilder had been due to take on Povetkin in Russia in May before the challenger failed a drug test for newly banned substance meldonium and the fight was cancelled. After a long investigation by the WBC, the sanctioning body cleared Povetkin of any intentional wrongdoing.