Deontay Wilder will get to defend his WBC world heavyweight title on February 25, but it will no longer be against challenger Andrzej Wawrzyk, thanks to a positive drug test.
Wawrzyk tested positive for the steroid stanozolol and will no longer get to compete for the world title. Promoter Lou DiBella said Wilder will face a new challenger, which has yet to be determined, but DiBella told ESPN he has been getting inquiries from the whole division over being Wilder's new opponent.
"I just found out about the positive test [Tuesday night] and already every promoter with a heavyweight who can breathe is texting me or calling me trying to get the fight," DiBella said. "I'm sitting here with my trusty iPad, and I am going to look at YouTube videos and rankings, and we're just going to work. We'll get a new opponent for Deontay. Feb 25 is going to go ahead as planned. But I'm just shaking my head. Deontay is just shaking his head. But we have a month before the fight, so we have time to get another opponent. The show will go on. I'm not happy about this, but I am much happier to find out now instead of finding out a few days before the fight."
VADA president Dr. Margaret Goodman said in a letter that the test "analyzed for anabolic agents, diuretics, beta-2 agonists, stimulants and drugs of abuse. The results of the analysis for each specimen is as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen contains stanozolol metabolites." Wawrzyk was not immediately made aware of the failed test because he was still in Poland, according to Wawrzyk's promoter Leon Margules. Wawrzyk could request his "B" sample to be analyzed in order to prove his innocence.
This is the second time in a row Wilder's original opponent tested positive for a banned substance. Wilder was originally set to fight Alexander Povetkin last May but he failed his test two weeks before the fight, cancelling the whole card. The camps are in litigation over the cancelation, and the case is due to go trial in U.S. federal court in New York next month. He fought Chris Arreola later that year in July, where Wilder retained his title.
Wilder won the WBC title off of Bermane Stiverne back in January 2015. Wilder is undefeated in his professional career, going 37-0, and knocking out his opponent in 36 of those fights. The fight against Wawrzyk was set to headline a Premier Boxing Champions card at the Legacy Arena in Wilder's hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.