Deontay Wilder was set to face Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk in Wilder’s comeback bout on February 25, but now promoters will have to hustle to find a replacement opponent, as Wawrzyk reportedly failed a drug test, according to WBC boss Mauricio Sulaiman’s Twitter:
Wilder went through a similar issue last year, when a scheduled fight with Alexander Povetkin in Moscow was eventually canceled after Povetkin had issues with drug testing before the fight.
The upside, if there is one here, is that the heavyweight division doesn’t require making weight, so finding someone willing to take the fight on four weeks notice shouldn’t be quite as hard as it might be in a different division. Plus, since Wawrzyk isn’t really a contender, any step back in quality of Wilder’s opposition is likely to be fairly minimal. (I say that now, they might dig up Ray Austin or something.)
One fighter who’s thrown his name out there, at least, is WBO champion Joseph Parker:
That fight is unlikely, at least if Wilder wants to keep the February 25 date, and considering Wilder’s had an injury layoff, it’s reasonable that he’d want a softer touch upon his first fight back, too. But hopefully, that’s something we could see later this year if both still hold their titles.
The card is a scheduled FOX tripleheader, featuring Tony Harrison vs Jarrett Hurd and Dominic Breazeale vs Izu Ugonoh on the undercard. Word is that Breazeale and Ugonoh are not in consideration to step up and face Wilder. If the show goes ahead, it will also run head-to-head with the Miguel Cotto-James Kirkland pay-per-view.