• Heavyweight

Klitschko-Povetkin fight in doubt

ESPN staff
June 3, 2013
Wladimir Klitschko is expected to defend his WBA title against Alexander Povetkin © PA Photos

Wladimir Klitschko's big-money WBA heavyweight title match with Alexander Povetkin is under threat amid a row over anti-doping controls.

The 37-year-old, who is also the WBO, IBF and IBO champion, was made WBA super champion after beating David Haye in 2011, with Povetkin rising to the rank of regular champion.

The duo are now obliged to face off to determine the division's reigning champion, but the fight could be off, according to Klitschko's manager, Berndt Boente.

The Ukrainian's camp are insisting that the German National Anti-Doping Agency must handle any drugs testing, while Povetkin's team are keen to use the Russian agency.

Should the German agency not be used, "there will be no fight and this is not up for discussion," Boente insists, explaining that the move would "rule out any inconsistencies with questionable analysis by Russian anti-doping agencies.

"Better safe than sorry," Boente added. "I've already seen too much in this business. At the moment, I would day the fight is 50-50 at best."

The WBA have granted a seven-day extension for the ongoing negotiations for a fight that would represent Klitschko's biggest payday. The Ukrainian is in line to collect 75% of the mammoth £16m fight purse.

But Boente refuses to rule out pulling the plug on the bout.

"There are still huge gaps in the contracts, not only in terms of the drugs testing," he admitted.

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