US heavyweight boxer wins court case in unanimous decision
NEW YORK (AP) — In a unanimous court decision, U.S. heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder won his latest fight Monday.
A Manhattan federal jury deliberated a half hour before finding in his favor in a civil action in which the World Boxing Council champion seeks $5 million for a fight that never happened against a Russian heavyweight challenger.
The 31-year-old Tuscaloosa, Alabama, boxer was not in court when the nine-person jury returned its verdict after brief deliberations. Neither was the Russian boxer — Alexander Povetkin, 37.
The jury concluded Povetkin had used a performance-enhancing substance after it was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency on Jan. 1, 2016. He tested negative for meldonium three times but then tested positive in a surprise test before the scheduled May fight, which was canceled.
Meldonium has been implicated in Russia's larger doping scandal and a 15-month ban on tennis star Maria Sharapova that is nearing its end.
Povetkin's lawyer, Kent Yalowitz, promised to appeal, calling the verdict "a true miscarriage of justice."
Yalowitz said in an email that hundreds of athletes tested positive for it at trace levels early in 2016 because it stays in the body for many months.
"Povetkin did not receive a fair trial," he said.
Attorney Judd Burstein, representing Wilder, said his client was flying from Alabama to New York on Monday to attend the trial when his plane was diverted because of high winds.
"He said that he was grateful for the victory," Burstein said.
Wilder is preparing for a Feb. 25 fight in Birmingham, Alabama, against Gerald Washington.