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Russian promoter bids $23 million for fight

The SportsXchange

Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov secured the rights to a future heavyweight championship fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin for what is believed a record $23,333,330 on Wednesday.

Hryunov far outbid Klitschko's K2 Promotions ($7.13 million) and Povetkin's promoter, Sauderland Event ($6.014,444), during a ceremony at WBA headquarters in Panama City.

Both Klitschko and Povetkin have bouts scheduled against other fighters next month, but they face a mandatory defense.

"We all were totally surprised," Klitschko's manager, Bernd Boente, told ESPN.com. "We only have to make sure that the money goes into escrow and that it's real. We are definitely willing to go through with it, but we have to make sure this is not one of those fake Don King purse bids."

Because Klitschko is the reigning champion, he would receive 75 percent ($17,499,997) and Povetkin would get the other 25 percent ($5,833,333).

Provided both boxers win their next fights, they would meet for the title on Aug. 31, Hryunov said. Possible sites include Moscow, Berlin and Las Vegas.

Klitschko, a Ukrainian, is 59-3 with 51 career knockouts and Povetkin, a Russian, has a 25-0 record with 17 KOs. Both are former Olympic gold medalists.

"I think this fight will wind up in Moscow," Boente said, according to ESPN.com.

Klitschko will face Italian Francesco Pianeta (28-0-1, 15 KOs) on May 4 in Mannheim, Germany. Povetkin is scheduled to fight May 17 in Moscow against Andrzej Wawrzyk (27-0, 13 KOs).

"Right now the most important thing is that Wladimir wins his fight on May 4 against Pianeta," Boente said. "Wladimir got the news about the bid and he said, 'It's interesting, but to be honest, I just take it as news. I am 100 percent focused on Pianeta.'"
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