Deontay Wilder has spent the last year-and-a-half dealing with opponents testing positive for illegal substances, but it hasn't deterred his interest in fighting some of those opponents.
Wilder spoke to ESPN UK's Cillian O Conchuir and talked about the possibility of him fighting Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin, who had failed drug tests shortly before they each were going to face Wilder for the WBC heavyweight championship. Despite each fighter's checkered past, Wilder said he was still interested in fighting them should a superfight against unified WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua not materialize.
"You got Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin. I would love to get the opportunity back with some of them guys, the fights that people really want to see and due to their lack of responsibility, as far as being wise for the drugs they choose to put in their bodies that the fight didn't happen. Hey, they back, why not? I would love to get back in the ring and mix it up with those guys," Wilder said.
A Joshua vs. Wilder fight was in the works for some time, but several issues caused negotiations to falter. Now Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn look to secure a fight with WBO champion Joseph Parker and according to reports, the fight is close to being a done deal.
Wilder's last fight was a rematch against mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne at the Barclays Center on November 4. Wilder knocked out Stiverne in the first round, but the fight was originally going to be Wilder vs. Ortiz. Ortiz failed a drug test about a month before the fight and Ortiz was pulled from the fight, leaving Stiverne to take his place. Ortiz has since been suspended by the WBA where he was the governing body's mandatory challenger to Joshua's WBA title, but has been cleared by the WBC, only giving him a $25,000 fine instead.
The same situation happened earlier this year with Povetkin. Povetkin was supposed to fight Wilder back in February, but Povetkin also failed a drug test which meant he also couldn't challenge for the WBC title and Wilder was then left to fight Gerald Washington. Povetkin has been cleared by the several governing bodies that have suspended him and will fight in a WBO heavyweight title eliminator later in December.