Deontay Wilder: Boxing needs to crack down on cheaters

Deontay Wilder celebrates after knocking out Artur Szpilka in the ninth round of their heavyweight title boxing fight at ...
USA TODAY SPORTS

Deontay Wilder celebrates after knocking out Artur Szpilka in the ninth round of their heavyweight title boxing fight at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York in January.

US boxer Deontay Wilder wants a stronger crackdown on cheating "before it ruins the sport'' and has called for heavier penalties for those caught doing so.

The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion's last two fights have come after his original opponents, Alexander Povetkin and Andrzej Wawrzyk, tested positive for banned substances.

He recently interrupted a training camp to spend eight days in New York for a trial, seeking the $5 million (NZ $6.9 million) he was scheduled to receive for the Povetkin fight last summer. A jury unanimously ruled in his favour on Monday.

Deontay Wilder fights Chris Arreola during their heavyweight championship fight during the Premier Boxing Championships ...
MARVIN GENTRY

Deontay Wilder fights Chris Arreola during their heavyweight championship fight during the Premier Boxing Championships in July 2016.

Wilder celebrated the ruling even as he bemoaned the circumstances surrounding his last two fights.

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"I was shaking my head. It's sad,'' Wilder said in a conference call on Thursday. "It's sad for the sport. I just hope something even more can be done about this situation before it ruins the sport of boxing. I think the WBC is doing a fabulous job in bringing the doping program and having these fighters sign up for it and if they don't they're off the rankings. But I also would like to see it go into second gear.

Alexander Povetkin poses during a weigh-in in Moscow, Russia in 2013.
EPSILON

Alexander Povetkin poses during a weigh-in in Moscow, Russia in 2013.

"I want to see some punishment done. I want to see if you do this, if you put a steroid or anything that allows your body to do what it's not naturally supposed to do, I think you should not only get suspended, but maybe indefinitely, or fined. We need to do something.''

Wilder said winning the Povetkin case was a step toward warning fighters of the potential consequences, but wants violators to lose more than money.

"They need to take their career away from them because this is ridiculous,'' he said.

Wilder said trainer Mark Breland went with him to New York for the trial, but that weather and long days in court did cause him to miss some training time. He hasn't fought since a ninth-round knockout of Povetkin replacement Chris Arreola last July, when Wilder suffered a broken right hand and torn biceps in the same arm.

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Wilder (37-0, 36 knockouts) faces unbeaten substitute Gerald Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs) on February 25 in Birmingham, Alabama.

 - AP

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