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Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin negotiations close to being done

Image: Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin negotiations close to being done

By Allan Fox: The negotiations for the heavyweight clash between former WBA champion Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte are close to being done. This is a fight that is being talked about potentially taking place on April 18 at the O2 Arena in London, but it could be moved to May as well.

It’s a risky fight for both guys, Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) is the WBC mandatory to champion Deontay Wilder, and he’ll be getting a title shot in 2021. Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) is coming off of a 10 round draw against Michael Hunter on December 7 in a WBA title eliminator.

They were supposed to fight an immediate rematch to decide who the WBA mandatory would be, but the 40-year-old Povetkin is going in a different direction to take a risky fight with highly ranked contender Whyte.

“We are at the final stage of approvals,” Povetkin’s promoters at World of Boxing said to “Final clarity may appear in the near future.”

The money offered to Povetkin to face Whyte must be good for him to be going in a different direction than the Hunter rematch If Povetkin beats Hunter, he’ll be WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s mandatory. That would be another big payday for the 2004 Russian Olympic gold medalist Povetkin.

If Povetkin beats Whyte, he could still face Hunter in a rematch, which would put him back in position to earn the WBA mandatory spot.

Alexander lost to Joshua two years ago by a 7th round knockout in September 2018 in Wembley Stadium in London, England. Since that loss, Povetkin has fought only twice, beating Hughie Fury by a 12 round unanimous decision last August, and then battling to a 12 round draw against the American Hunter on December 7.

Whyte came in at a career high 271 lbs for his last fight against former heavyweight world title challenger Mariusz Wach on December 7 in Saudi. In a clear example of Whyte taking Wach lightly, he was forced to battle hard in winning a brutally difficult 10 round unanimous decision.

The scores were 97-93, 98-93, 97-93. This was arguably one of the hardest fights for Whyte’s nine-year pro career, as a result of the size and pressure the 6’7 1/2″ Wach put on him. Whyte didn’t realize how tough a fighter Wach is, and he ended up paying for it by taking a lot of punishment.

If Whyte comes into the Povetkin fight at less than 100%, he’ll lose to him. However, Povetkin has the kind of talent to give Whyte nightmares even if he’s in top shape.

What we don’t know is how Whyte’s last fight against Wach will impact his performance. That was Whyte’s fourth consecutive brutally tough fight, and he’s not had a break. No one is easy for Whyte at the level that he’s currently fighting at.  The fight against Wach might have been easier for Whyte if it took place 2 years ago, and if he’d been in top condition.

Whyte’s last four fights:

  • Mariusz Wach
  • Oscar Rivas
  • Dereck Chisora
  • Joseph Parker

None of those were easy fights for Whyte, and he’s not going to have any easier against Povetkin. By the time Whyte does fight for the WBC title in 2021, he may not have much left. Tyson Fury has already said that he’s not planning on fighting Whyte. So if Fury beats Wilder in their rematch on February 22, it’s up in the air on who Whyte will fight for the WBC title next year.

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