Alexander Povetkin gift a ‘terminal’ blow to Dillian Whyte’s world title ambitions – Eddie Hearn


Alexander Povetkin expects to deliver a “terminal” blow to Dillian Whyte’s ambitions, with a world title fight still at stake in their rematch, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

The Russian heavyweight swiftly accepted an immediate rematch with Whyte on November 21, live on Sky Sports Box Office, after Povetkin’s shock knockout victory in the finale of last month’s Fight Camp.

Hearn revealed that Povetkin and his team had no concerns about a second fight, just three months later, as they fully intend to deliver another dramatic stoppage victory.

“All of a sudden, the pressure is not just on trying to become the mandatory and fight Tyson Fury, this is the pressure of his [Whyte’s] career on November 21,” said the Matchroom Boxing boss.

“Controlling the fight, a brutal knockout, and all of a sudden like that, his career spins on its head.

“He’s hugely motivated to put this right, but it’s extremely dangerous and of course, moving into the rematch, just 13 weeks after the first fight is very, very dangerous. But Dillian Whyte wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Whyte can quickly regain the WBC interim title, while a revenge win is also likely to restore his status as the WBC mandatory challenger.

But Hearn admits that a repeat defeat would effectively end Whyte’s long-term pursuit of the WBC belt, currently held by Tyson Fury.

“I think it is terminal for his world title chances – and that’s obviously the ultimate aim for Dillian Whyte,” he said. “I think he knows the pressures.

“He was deeply disappointed with getting knocked out from an amazing bit of skill from Alexander Povetkin, and he’s got to put that right.

“Povetkin and his team ready to go. They don’t see a problem. They’ve knocked him out once, they think they’re going to do it again in November.

“A very confident Alexander Povetkin, and all of a sudden, all of the pressure lies on the shoulders of Dillian Whyte.”

Whyte had been set to enforce a mandatory fight with Fury in early 2021, and Hearn still intends to end Whyte’s prolonged wait for a WBC title shot, provided he defeats Povetkin.

“The winner of November 21st will be WBC mandatory, it’s just when that’s called,” Hearn said. “I know that Dillian Whyte will be pushing that as hard as he can, but it’s just about getting that victory.

“If he gets that victory, his world title shot will come, and really that’s all that matters.”

The Brixton man has not dwelled on defeat, having already identified the necessary changes to his game plan after analysing the fight on a couple of occasions.

“I’m a warrior, I don’t make excuses,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “I done it wrong on the night and now I know exactly what I need to do to adjust and I’m ready to go again straight away.

“I just watched it back once, maybe twice, because I already know how the fight went. Bossing the fight, obviously I got distracted here and there with tactics he was doing.

“I was also kind of surprised that he was more hittable than I expected.

“I trained for him to be a lot better, and a lot faster and a lot sharper than he was . But it just shows how dangerous heavyweight boxing is; one punch can completely change everything.

“All credit to him, he landed with a perfect shot. Obviously he made a good decision, I made the wrong decision.”

Xavier Miller will continue his role as head trainer for Whyte, who amicably split from Mark Tibbs in July.

“We’ve had experience of working together for a while, it’s good,” said Whyte. “My team is the same. Everyone thinks that Xav is new, but I’ve been working with Xav for over a year now.

“He’s been second in command for a while, but now obviously circumstances happen. Everyone has to start somewhere. The guy knows his stuff about boxing.

“Only small adjustments I need to make. A lot of people are saying, ‘Change your coach, go train with him, change this, change that.'”No, I don’t need to do that. I just need to make tiny adjustments, and that’s what it is at this level.”