By Vadim Pushkin
World of Boxing CEO Andrey Ryabinsky admits there could be potential issues with wrapping up the deal for the mandatory WBC eliminator between Alexander Povetkin and Bermane Stiverne.
Ryabinsky recently outbid Don King to secure the promotional rights, with a sum of $3.16 million. The Russian businessman is going to stage Povetkin vs. Stiverne on December 17th in Russia, and Yekaterinburg is looking to be the location of choice.
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 a torn biceps muscle in his July knockout of Chris Arreola.
There is some hostility between Ryabinsky and King, who promotes Stiverne.
Earlier this year, Ryabinsky won $1.6 million in a lawsuit that he filed in May of 2014 against King for breach of contract over the canceled rematch between Denis Lebedev and Guillermo Jones, which was scheduled to take place in April of 2014.
The fight fell apart literally two hours before Jones and Lebedev were scheduled to enter the ring. Jones came up positive for a banned weight cutting agent, with the test result arriving a few hours before the fight was about to start. Once that test came in, Lebedev and his team walked away from the contest. Jones tested positive for the same substance following the first bout with Lebedev.
"We have just begun negotiations, but we understand that it will be difficult. We hope that we reach an agreement, and that everything will be well. Could be something to disrupt the fight from happening? Anything is possible, unfortunately. As you know, there is an unstable history [between me and King]. But we will try to ensure that this [fight does not fall through]. I believe they would want to get the money [per the terms of the purse bid]," Ryabinsky said.