HERE’S the good news: Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin, reportedly set to fight on September 22 or September 29, have both enrolled with VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) ahead of the proposed world heavyweight title bout.
— Vada-Testing.org (@Vada_Testing) July 1, 2018
And here’s the bad news: just because the two of them have enrolled, which is to say signed a form, perhaps, and been mentioned in a VADA tweet, doesn’t necessarily mean they will be tested.
What’s more, even if they are tested, just because they have enrolled with VADA doesn’t necessarily mean they will be tested the way professional heavyweight boxers should be tested ahead of a world heavyweight title fight. That’s not the fighter’s fault, of course. Nor is it the fault of the promoter. But it’s an important thing to remember nonetheless.
Povetkin, let’s not forget, proudly announced he had enrolled with VADA and signed up to the WBC’s ‘Clean Boxing’ programme when two days away from a heavyweight fight with David Price back in March. However, he also admitted he had not been tested by VADA during his training camp for that particular fight and that the only testers he’d encountered were from UKAD (UK Anti-Doping), who greeted him on the Wednesday of fight week, moments after he’d completed his public workout in Cardiff. That’s not good enough. It’s asking for trouble. Yet it’s par for the course with boxing, unfortunately.
The hope where Joshua vs. Povetkin is concerned is that it’s a fight too big to ignore. Unlike Povetkin vs. Price, there are heavyweight titles on the line here. There is a lot at stake. A lot of money to be made. And that’s usually enough to get the testers involved.
Then again, it could be argued, every bit as strongly, that it provides just as much reason for them to look the other way.
We wondered when the brilliant World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) would find a home in America and today we got our answer.
The second series of the WBSS, which includes bantamweight and super-lightweight tournaments, and another soon to be announced, will be shown live on DAZN, the network who recently announced an eight-year deal with Matchroom USA. There will be 15 fight nights in total.
This deal makes DAZN the first US-based platform to televise the WBSS and that’s great news not only for the fighters involved but also the brand as a whole. For if the WBSS is to become more than a hardcore hangout for those who want to watch the best fight the best and have a complex sport diluted and simplified (who doesn’t?), worldwide exposure is exactly what’s needed to help it grow.
“As a platform built for the fans, DAZN has been mining boxing chats and forums to see how we can bring immediate value to the community,” said James Rushton, DAZN CEO. “It became obvious that Americans felt left out of the terrific action and thrilling competition on display in the World Boxing Super Series. To that end, we’re happy to announce that we’ll stream every fight of all three tournaments. Keep an eye out for more announcements soon. This is just the beginning.”
The super-lightweight tournament is gathering pace, too. Earlier today it was announced that WBA world champion Kiryl Relikh will face mandatory challenger Eduard Troyanovsky in one of the WBSS quarter-finals.
Troyanovsky, a 38-year-old Russian, is a one-time holder of the IBF title who last year defeated Michele Di Rocco and Carlos Manuel Portillo. The former went in four rounds; the latter inside the first.
“I am very happy to take part in the tournament,” said Troyanovsky, 27-1 (24), eager to claim a second world title following his first-round loss to Julius Indongo in 2016. “The Muhammad Ali Trophy is something really special for any boxer in the world. Maybe it could be more prestigious than championship belts because not everyone can get this trophy.
“My motivation to win is my biggest advantage in the tournament.”