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Wilder vs Povetkin: Lebedev-Ramirez cruiserweight unification planned for May 21 undercard

Denis Lebedev will face Victor Ramirez on the still-developing Wilder-Povetkin card in Russia.

Boris Streubel/Getty Images

With Deontay Wilder vs Alexander Povetkin nearly official for May 1 at Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow, the undercard is also coming together, with a world title unification at cruiserweight, and the return of some familiar names and prospects.

The cruiserweight title unification will pit WBA titleholder Denis Lebedev (28-2, 21 KO) against IBF titleholder Victor Ramirez (22-2-1, 17 KO), certainly a more than solid co-feature fight for the show. Lebedev, 36, has won three straight since a knockout loss to Guillermo Jones in 2013, beating Pawel Kolodziej, Youri Kalenga, and Lateef Kayode, with only Kalenga going the distance. Ramirez, 31, beat Ola Afolabi last April for the interim IBF belt, and was elevated to full titleholder before his October defense against Ovill McKenzie, which wound up a draw.

Ramirez hasn't fought outside of his native Argentina since his last defeat, which came in 2009 against Marco Huck in Germany. Ramirez was out of the sport for over four years after that fight, coming back to win seven straight before the draw against McKenzie.

Cruiserweights Dmitry Kudrayshov (18-1, 18 KO) and Rakhim Chakhkiev (24-2, 18 KO) will also return in separate 10-round bouts, both coming off of upset losses in November. Chakhkiev was knocked out by Ola Afolabi. His opponent has yet to be named. Kudrayshov, who was stopped by Olanrewaju Durodola, will face Brazil's Julio Cesar Dos Santos (30-5, 27 KO).

Top light heavyweight prospect Dmitry Bivol (6-0, 6 KO) will also be in action, as will cruiserweight Alexey Papin (2-0, 2 KO), super middleweight Magomed Madiev (6-0, 3 KO), and veteran light heavyweight Stanislav Kashtanov (34-2, 20 KO).

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