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Klitschko vs Povetkin fight in doubt after drug testing disagreement

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A scheduled October 5 fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin may not happen after all, as the two sides aren't budging on different drug test demands.

Alex Grimm

If you figured it seemed too good to be true, with a $23 million record purse bid and a quickly-scheduled date and seemingly no major roadblocks to overcome, then you may be right. Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin are struggling to finalize a deal to fight on October 5, as the two sides want different drug testing agencies to oversee the bout.

Klitschko wants the German organization NADA, while Povetkin wants Russia's RUSADA. Both organizations are affiliated with WADA, the agency considered to be the global king of athletic drug testing, so this is really more about a power play one way or the other, it would seem, than either side having major concerns about the legitimacy or fairness of either agency.

Klitschko (60-3, 51 KO) and Povetkin (26-0, 18 KO) have twice had scheduled fights canceled in the past, the first in 2008, and then again in 2009. On both occasions, Povetkin pulled out, the first time ostensibly due to injury, and the second time more openly known to be Teddy Atlas, then Povetkin's trainer, not wanting to match his fighter with Klitschko.

Five years later, we may still be stuck in the same spot, with the fight something that should happen, but perhaps won't, for whatever the real reason might be. I doubt this news really surprises anyone if we wind up not getting the fight, though.