Dillian Whyte to fight in March, wants Andy Ruiz Jr. or Povetkin
By Kenneth Friedman: Dillian Whyte has now been cleared by UKAD and he plans on fighting in March while he waits for the dust to clear from the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury rematch. The WBC has reinstated Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) as the interim WBC heavyweight champion and mandatory to Wilder, and he’ll be fighting the winner of the Wilder-Fury 2 fight in 2021.
In the meantime, Whyte will be fighting in March of 2020, and he’s interested in facing Alexander Povetkin or Andy Ruiz Jr., according to Sky Sports. Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) is coming off of a 10 round draw against Michael Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs) on December 7 in their fight on the Joshua-Ruiz 2 card Diriyah Arena, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. It would seem like a delusional pipedream on Whyte’s part to think that he can get Ruiz Jr. or Povetkin to fight him next March, because those guys have other options.
Chances of Whyte getting Povetkin fight – NOT good
Povetkin and Hunter are reportedly interested in fighting an immediate rematch so they can move their career forward. As such, Whyte will not get a fight against the 40-year-old former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin.
There’s no reason for #6 WBA, #6 WBC, #10 IBF Povetkin to take a fight with Whyte right now, because it’s easier for him to face the smaller, weaker Hunter in a rematch. A win for Povetkin over Hunter will push him higher in the rankings, and it’s an easier fight than facing the 240+ Whyte, who can punch.
Whyte would be taking a big risk in fighting Alexander
Povetkin would also be a risky fight for Whyte, and it’s unclear whether Matchroom Boxing guru Eddie Hearn would be in favor of that fight. Hearn wouldn’t be helped by Whyte getting picked off by an older fighter like Povetkin, since he’s got a lot more years left in his career than the Russian. Moreover, Whyte is a British heavyweight, and there’s massive interest from the Brits in seeing him and Joshua fight a rematch.
In Povetkin’s case, he was already knocked out in the 7th round by Joshua in September of 2018, and there’s demand from fans in seeing a second fight. Hearn needs Whyte to keep winning long enough for him to get a title shot against the winner of the Wilder vs. Fury rematch.
Whyte more useful to Hearn if wins WBC belt from Wilder-Fury winner
If Whyte can win the World Boxing Council heavyweight title, he can march into a rematch with Joshua as the WBC champion, and that makes the fight a lot bigger.
Whyte wants Andy Ruiz Jr. fight
Whyte also says he’d be interested in fighting former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz Jr., and he’d be willing to travel to Mexico to face him. Ruiz has no reason to take a fight with Whyte right now, as he’s hoping to get a trilogy fight against Joshua. Additionally, Ruiz is coming off of a bad loss against Joshua, and he needs to get some wins his belt.
Yeah, it would help Ruiz get the third fight with Joshua if he beats Whyte, but it’s too risky to make that bout. Ruz needs to lose approximatedly 40 lbs to get down to the 240s, and he needs a sure thing win. Facing Whyte would be a gamble for Ruiz, and his management at Premier Boxing Champions are unlikely to take that risk.
An in shape Ruiz would have an excellent chance of beating Whyte, and doing it in fashion. If Ruiz lacked the discipline to get in shape for the big money rematch against Joshua, then he surely can’t be counted on to get in shape for a lesser fight against Whyte.
Whyte needs to lose a lot of weight in 2020
The first order of business for Whyte in 2020 is to lose the weight that he packed on in the last five months. Whyte came into his fight with Mariusz Wach (35-6, 19 KOs) at career high at 271 lbs, and he had all kinds of problems winning that fight.
Whyte beat Wach by a 10 round unanimous decision, but it was competitive throughout, and barely looked better. The fight showed how limited Whyte is as a fighter, and it was hard to take him seriously afterwards as someone capable of beating Wilder or Fury. If Wach had a tiny bit more power, he would have beaten Whyte. Dillian can’t afford too many more performances like that if he wants to keep his career going, as he sounded punch drunk the day after.
Whyte needs to lose roughly 30 lbs of fat to get down to 240s. With Whyte, his weight fluctuates. For example, in Whyte’s fight against Oscar Rivas last July, he weighed 259 lbs, and looked like he was carrying around an extra 15 to 20 lbs of fat. However, it didn’t negatively impact Whyte’s performance in that fight. He got the better of the Colombian in winning a 12 round decision.
Granted, Whyte was put on the deck in the 9th, and arguably saved from a second knockdown in the 12th when the referee Victor Loughlin blew a call by giving him a timeout after he was hurt by a body shot. The referee thought it was a low blow.