Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte set for title fight rematch
WBC interim heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin will defend the title against Dillian Whyte in a rematch this weekend.
Updated: March 25, 2021 • 10:30 AM ET
The WBC interim heavyweight title will be on the line this Saturday, as Alexander Povetkin will defend the title in an immediate rematch against Dillian Whyte in Gibraltar.
In the first bout in August, Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) surprised many with a pulverizing fifth-round knockout of Whyte to claim the interim title. Whyte knocked down Povetkin twice in the fourth round, but Povetkin pulled off one of the best comebacks in boxing of the last few years. On Saturday, Whyte will try to ensure that Povetkin does not get up this time.
“Povetkin is a very cagey guy, a very experienced guy, a very patient guy, tough guy as well,” Whyte said in an interview with Matchroom Boxing. “But last time, I didn’t land properly and he went down, but he showed resilience. He got up and then he stopped me. But this time I just have to make sure when I hit him, he’ll stay down.”
The victory over Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) was also Povetkin’s second in three fights since losing a title bout to Anthony Joshua by TKO in 2018. Including Whyte, Povetkin has key wins in his career over Hughie Fury, David Price, Christian Hammer, Johann Duhaupas, Mariusz Wach, Carlos Takam, Manuel Charr and Hasim Rahman.
Despite the rematch having to be rescheduled twice due to Povetkin contracting Covid-19, he says he feels good heading into Saturday’s bout.
“I don’t feel any effects of coronavirus,” Povetkin said during a recent press call via FanSided. “I’m training well. The camp was good, so I didn’t think about that at all.”
The 41-year-old Povetkin added, “I’m feeling like I’m 25 years old. I can’t say age influences my body.”
Whyte, who won 11 straight fights prior to the Povetkin loss, knows how much is on the line for his title hopes and vows that things will end differently this weekend.
“This is the biggest fight of my career,” Whyte said. “I’m coming off a loss to the guy. The good thing is, this is heavyweight boxing. One fight changes everything. I’m sure this time I’m going to beat him, and we’ll see what people are going to say.”
The 32-year-old Whyte added, “One, two or three losses means nothing to a heavyweight nowadays. If you fight good fighters, the main thing is you can come back. But obviously, this is a must-win fight for me. I’m not a guy that worries about pressure to be honest. I just smile and just take it in my stride. I’m a very adaptable kind of guy. I’ll do whatever I need to do to get the win. I don’t care if I’ve got to rough a guy up or outbox a guy or I knock a guy out, I’ll do whatever it takes for me to win.”
• Start time/how to watch - The main card can be seen this Saturday on Sky Sports in the UK, Ireland and China at 7 p.m. GMT. For viewers outside those areas, the main card can be seen on DAZN at 3 p.m. EST.
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