Povetkin willing to fight Dillian Whyte
By Tim Royner: Alexander Povetkin is willing to fight #1 WBC heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, who needs a dance partner for his July 13 contest on Sky Box Office. The former WBA champion Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) says he agreed to fight Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) a long time ago, but he’s waiting for their side to give the green light to the fight.
Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn is waiting for the World Boxing Council to decide whether they’ll order the May 18th winner between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and mandatory Dominic Breazeale to fight Whyte in their next fight.
If the WBC gives Hearn his wish, then there’s little chance that he’ll put him in with a risky opponent like Povetkin for his July 13th fight. Even though Whyte is fightig on Sky Box Office pay-per-view on July 13, Hearn won’t take a risk of having him lose if the WBC determines that he can fight the Wilder-Breazeale winner.
“Whyte is a good, famous boxer, No 1 in the WBC. That would be an interesting fight,” Povetkin said to the official website of his promoters, World of Boxing. I will go against him, why not? We agreed to this fight a long time ago, but there was no answer from their side, as far as I know.”[If] they will give the answer that the battle will be [happening].”
Povekin, 39, lost his last fight to IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) by a seventh round knockout on September 22 last year at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Hearn has five possible opponents that he’s considering for Whyte’s July 13 fight. Even if the WBC chooses not to let Whyte fight the winner of the Wilder vs. Breazeale fight, Hearn likely won’t use Povetkin as an opponent for him. It’s believed that Hearn is saving Povetkin to match against Oleksander Usyk for later this year. Usyk is facing former heavyweight world title challenger Carlos Takam in a 10 round fight on May 25 at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Povetkin is fighting on a DAZN card against an opponent still to be determined on May 18 in Chicago, Illinois. With those two dates close to each other, Povetkin will almost surely wind up as an opponent for Usyk to fight in September or October before getting a title shot against Joshua.
“The names we are looking at are all good fights and like I said, once we get that ruling, we will be pulling the trigger and making that announcement,” Hearn said to skysports.com about Whyte.
Hearn says that even if the WBC does order the winner of the Wilder vs. Breazeale fight to face Whyte next, he still plans on matching him against a good fighter on July 13. Obviously having Whyte’s fight on Sky Box Office on that date makes it important for him to fight someone decent for him to fight. Povetkin is not going to be used obviously.
The names that Hearn is likely looking at of his five potential opponents for Whyte’s July 13th date are these fighters:
– Agit Kabayel
– Zhilei Zhang
– Michael Hunter
– Bogdan Dinu
– Kyotaro Fujimoto
– Sergey Kuzmin
Those names will also likely be among the ones that Hearn picks from even if the WBC doesn’t say that Whyte can fight the winner of the Wilder-Breazeale fight.
If the WBC orders Whyte to fight #3 WBC Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, then Hearn will likely ignore them, and have Whyte wait for a title shot against Joshua. He’s not going to match Whyte against Ortiz and watch him likely lose that fight. Ortiz is too talented, hits too hard, and is just way too experienced for a guy like Whyte. Hearn and Whyte have shown no interest in fighting Ortiz in the last couple of years. That’s not going to change now.