MOBILE, Alabama, USA (sentinel.ht) – The WBC Heavyweight Champ, Deontay Wilder, said the Haitian-Canadian fighter, who trains out of the United States, Bermane Stiverne won’t get a fair shake in his interim title fight in Russia against Alexandre Povetkin Saturday at 11 am EST.
Wilder’s comments come at a time of heightened political tensions with the Cold War, really a Cool War, in full effect. While some agreed with Wilder’s stance, for others, a backlash on social media and YouTube was delivered to the African-American, with some going so far as to call him “racist”.
The undefeated Wilder was quoted in BoxingScene.com Thursday:
“If it’s in [Russia], Povetkin’s gonna win it…”
“No doubt in my mind. I know in this heavyweight division, it just takes one punch. But there’s a lot going on in this boxing game, especially with these Russians, man.”
“Time after time you see them [Russians], especially in 2016, it’s been a global thing with them. Especially with the Olympics, with the cheating and stuff like that. You just can’t trust them. You just can’t trust them. In boxing, this sport, you really can’t trust nobody. But they’re a different breed of people…”
Supporters of Wilder, moreover, say he is just pointing out par for the course in any sport where one travels to another’s home turf. Furthermore, they cite cases of doping that have befallen Russian athletes recently and allege it’s uniqueness for allegedly being “state-sponsored”.
Certainly, one should also question the champ’s genuineness. The winner of Stiverne-Povetkin bout will have Deontay Wilder to face for the full title fight. “Safe money” is on the home team and planting the seeds of doubt in the event of a Povetkin victory gives Wilder the early narrative.
But Povetkin would have to go through Stiverne who moves unlike any other heavyweight in the game in about two decades. Stiverne told BoxingScene that Ekatinburg felt like his Montreal hometown and is emanating in quiet confidence.