Wilder ready for Povetkin challenge

Luke G. Williams
29/02/2016 10:37am


Jay Deas, trainer of WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, talks to Boxing Monthly online about the Bronze Bomber’s approaching mandatory defence against Alexander Povetkin.

It was announced on Friday that Andrey Ryabinsky, promoter of Russian heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin, had won the rights to stage his charge’s challenge against reigning WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, thanks to a purse bid of $7.15 million, which outstripped the bid of just over $5.1 million made by Wilder’s promoter, Lou DiBella.

Despite the daunting prospect of a possible trip to Russia, Wilder’s trainer, Alabama-born Jay Deas, was a picture of confidence when Boxing Monthly caught up with him this weekend.

“Povetkin's people made a competitive bid and won,” Deas told BM. “Therefore they will control where and when the fight takes place.  This is no problem for Deontay.  He has fought all over the world. [There’s] no news on location [yet] but we hope to hear soon. We assume either Russia or New York. The owner of the Barclay Center in Brooklyn is Russian and the dollar is stronger than the ruble right now. If Povetkin seeks a worldwide audience, New York is ideal, but we will see.”

Deas insists that Wilder will be prepared for arguably the sternest challenge of his near eight-year long professional career. “Povetkin is a former [Olympic] Gold medalist and has been at the top level a long time. He is sound in all phases and represents a great challenge, but Deontay will be ready. It will be a great fight for the fans.  Styles make fights and, let's face it, Deontay is the most exciting heavyweight in the world today.  It’s a fight which is shaping up to be must see TV!”

Should Wilder triumph against Povetkin, further down the line he could be in line to face the winner of Anthony Joshua versus Charles Martin, the upcoming IBF title fight. Deas was only too glad to give his assessment of this contest, although stopped short of offering a prediction.

“Joshua versus Martin is an interesting match-up,” he said. “Martin is a big puncher and comes from the southpaw stance.  Joshua has definite advantages in his extensive amateur career.  Martin will look to land the southpaw hook and if he can't get Joshua out will seek to take the fight to the later rounds to test the young man's stamina.

“Fighting at home adds pressure.  Joshua will punch in combination. Both are the same height, which is interesting because neither is used to taking on a man the same height. Head movement will be key.  When you are much taller than your opponent to a degree your height is your defence but tall against equally tall is the same as short against equally short!  One can now roll under punches and counter off it unlike previous fights, so it adds a new dimension to the battle. No prediction but I will definitely be watching alongside Deontay!”