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December 17, 2016

By Scott Shaffer

Have they no shame in Russia?

Alexander Povetkin KO6 Johann Dahuapas... In a sorry example of what a gigantic cesspool professional boxing can be, a juiced-up Alexander Povetkin punished out-of-shape Johann Duhaupas, knocking him unconscious in the sixth round. Povetkin was allowed to fight in Ekaterineberg, Russia hours after it was announced he tested positive for a banned muscle builder called ostarine. Duhaupas took the fight on one day's notice and did not even have proper boxing footwear. Povetkin was originally scheduled to fight Canada's Bermane Stiverne for the WBC interim heavyweight title but when the positive result was disclosed, the WBC withdrew its sanction and Stiverne refused to fight.

It was the second time in 2016 Povetkin has been found with a banned substance in his system, although this time it looks like a far more serious infraction. In May, Povetkin was scheduled to challenge WBC champion Deontay Wilder but the fight was cancelled when Povetkin tested positive for meldonium, a substance that was legal until December 31, 2015. Last month, Stiverne tsted positive for a stimulant, but he was only fined and the Povetkin-Stiverne fight was supposed to proceed despite Sitverne's failed test-- until today's news. Ostarine (sometimes referred to as enobosarm) is used to preserve and build muscle mass.

Consistent with recent revelations about Olympic doping, Russia seems unconcerned with chemically enhanced boxers trying to punch their opponents senseless. According to USA Today, the show will go on with France's Johann Duhaupas poised to step in and face Povetkin in a non-title bout. Duhaupas (34-3) is a fringe contender who lost a title challenge to Wilder in 2015 but is coming off a big win over Robert Helenius in April. For Stiverne, who has reportedly already left Russia, the fairest result would be the WBC naming him as the mandatory challenger for Wilder, who is currently injured. source: youtube video

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