By Edward Chaykovsky
As BoxingScene.com previously reported, the World Boxing Council has approved a voluntary defense for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
The date presented to the WBC is January 16th, and Wilder's manager and trainer Jay Deas says the target venue is the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Wilder's last two defenses took place in his home state of Alabama.
Wilder's mandatory challenger, Olympic gold medal winner Alexander Povetkin, was in action on Wednesday night and stopped Mariusz Wach in the twelfth round in Kazan, Russia.
The WBC expects Wilder (35-0, 34 KO) vs. Povetkin (30-1, 22 KO) to happen in April or May.
According to Deas, they were ready to face Povetkin next, but the Russian fighter's handlers informed the WBC that more time was needed in order to properly prepare for the fight.
"When they're ready, we'll be ready," said Deas told Alabama.com. "So we're not going to wait on anybody.
"We would have liked for it to be Povetkin, but we're going to find the next highest-ranked guy to fight that's available. [The Barclays Center] is what we're shooting for, and my understanding is that they do have availability. It's certainly an outstanding venue."
"We're trying to go for the highest-ranked, best-available guy. We were thinking that it would be Povetkin. We were ready. They're the ones that postponed it, not us."