Povetkin-Pudenko Set for July 1

Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin will make his return to the ring in his home country next month, as he will face Andrey Rudenko (31-2, 19 KOs) at the Russia Central Concert Hall in Moscow on July 1.

It will be Povetkin’s first fight of 2017.

Last year he failed two drug tests that derailed major fights for the Russian former champion. First, a title fight against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was cancelled.

Then in December, Povetkin was set to face Bermane Stiverne in December for an interim championship title that would lead to the opportunity to fight Wilder. Days before the fight, Povetkin tested positive for another banned substance and the fight was no longer sanctioned. In Stiverne’s absence, Johann Duhaupas stepped up to fight Povetkin and was knocked out.

The WBC suspended Povetkin indefinitely because of his repeated failed drug tests, but that suspension only applies to WBC-sanctioned fights.

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