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Mexico City, Mexico (August 17th, 2016)– On May 15, 2016, the WBC granted Champion Deontay Wilder the right to make a voluntary defense of his World Title, which took place on July 16, 2016. In connection with that defense, Champion Wilder injured his right hand and arm, injuries that required surgery.

As a result of his injuries and surgeries, Champion Wilder is expected to be inactive until some time in 2017.

Deontay Wilder is confirmed as WBC heavyweight champion and will have the time to recover from his multiple injuries and surgeries. Wilder will retain his rights as champion, including the 70% advantage in case his mandatory bout needs to go to purse bid process, once he returns to action.

An interim championship is ordered between the two highest available contenders, No. 1 Alexander Povetkin and No. 2 Bermane Stiverne.

The free negotiations period begins today and if there is no agreement, a purse bid will be conducted on Friday, September 16. The split will be 50 percent for each fighter. Clean Boxing Program VADA testing will be mandatory, as well as the 10 percent bonus from the bid for the winner of the contest.

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