NEW YORK — Heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder and promoter DiBella Entertainment have filed a $5 million lawsuit against Russian Alexander Povetkin and his promoter.
Wilder and DiBella filed suit alleging breach of contract Monday in U.S. District Court of New York. Wilder, the WBC champion, and mandatory challenger Povetkin were scheduled to fight May 21 in Moscow but the fight was postponed indefinitely when the Russian tested positive for Meldonium.
The banned substance is a blood-flow drug that historically was used to improve Soviet soldiers’ endurance.
The suit seeks damages of no less than $5 million and names Povetkin and promoter World of Boxing LLC, run by Andrei Ryabinsky. YahooSports first reported the suit.
Wilder was scheduled to make $4.369 million for the fight. He’ll face Chris Arreola July 16 in Birmingham, Alabama.
In a Twitter post Monday, Ryabinsky said: “There will be several of our lawsuits at the start of next week. It’ll be a real rumble.”
The suit said Povetkin was tested three times in early April, but didn’t test positive for the drug until April 27.
Wilder’s camp became concerned that Povetkin might be doping in late March, calling it “highly suspicious” that Povetkin had traveled to Spain, the suit said. Spain, according to the suit, is not traditionally regarded as a place for boxers to train but “is notorius as an epicent of doping.”
Ryabinsky had earlier predicted the Wilder-Povetkin fight “should take place by the end of the year.” Wilder’s promoter Lou DiBella opposes talk of rescheduling before a WBC ruling.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova is appealing a two-year ban after testing positive for Meldonium.
Seeing how Floyd Mayweather has never lost a professional fight to any actual boxer, oddsmakers rate him as an overwhelming favorite if the much rumored boxing match against mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor comes to realization.
Mayweather is listed as a -1400 betting favorite against the +750 underdog McGregor at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. If it happens – and McGregor has been dropping hints that it will, sharing video of him training for boxing in Mayweather’s hometown of Las Vegas – it would also be the most lucrative bout in prize fighting history.
Mayweather, who turns 40 years old next week, is a perfect 49-0 during a career which has seen him win acclaim as the best fighter, pound for pound, of the last quarter-century. The five-division world champion has stayed on top of the game for so long by being an excellent defensive fighter who wears out opponents.
Mayweather’s last seven victories as well as 10 of his last 12 have gone the full 12 rounds. At this stage of his career, he’s far from a knockout artist but is likely to be able to keep his guard up much better than the typical opponent McGregor faces in the Octagon.
McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion, ends his fights quickly. The Irishman has won 17 of his last 18 bouts, including 14 by knockout or technical knockout. Stamina likely wouldn’t be an issue for McGregor in a boxing ring, given that boxing rounds are two minutes shorter than the five-minute rounds in the UFC.
Of course, if the fight actually comes to pass, McGregor would have to adjust to using the heavier boxing gloves and would have to get used to staying on his feet.
Since coming to the UFC, McGregor has been an underdog only once, closing at -105 against Jose Aldo at UFC 194. That was the bout where he knocked out Aldo in 13 seconds.