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Hearn and Bellew preview Whyte vs. Povetkin match-up

Alexander Povetkin Dillian Whyte

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew are excited about this summer’s clash between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin on August 22 on Sky Box Office at the Matchroom Fight Camp, in Brentwood, Essex. Whyte vs. Povetkin is the final event of the Matchroom Fight camp, and it’s a controversial one in terms of whether it’s worth being sold on pay-per-view.

Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) puts his WBC heavyweight mandatory position on the line against the former WBA champion Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs), who is at a crossroads in his career where he can’t afford to lose.

Povetkin giving away a lot of size to Whyte

The 40-year-old Povetkin is small for a heavyweight at 6’2″, 229 pounds, and he’ll be giving away two inches in height and 25 to 30 pounds in size against the 6’4″, 255 pound Whyte. With Dillian, we don’t know yet what his weight will be for the fight, as it tends to fluctuate all over the place.

For example, in Whyte’s last match against Mariusz Wach on December 7, he weighed 271 lbs and looked soft. The 39-year-old Wach gave Dillian a hard fight in losing a 10 round unanimous decision on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr 2. Whyte can’t afford to come in fat like that against Povetkin and count on getting his hand raised at the end, but you never know.

When it’s come to the scoring and the officiating of Whyte’s fights in the last four years, he’s been lucky. Will that luck run out against the Russian fighter Povetkin? If so, then Whyte will lose his WBC mandatory position, and it’ll be Povetkin that faces the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III winner in early 2021.

Alexander Povetkin Dillian Whyte

Hearn favors Whyte

“We’re going to week four [of Matchroom Fight Camp]. They said we couldn’t stage a big fight behind closed doors,” said Hearn to Matchroom Boxing. “Be fair to Dillian Whyte, he went ‘F*** it, I’ll have it anyway.

“So here, it’s quite remarkable to think, right here, Dillian Whyte will fight Alexander Povetkin on his lawn. For me, it’s a brilliant heavyweight fight. We were just debating in the office early on.

“I fancy Dillian Whyte in that fight. What I do know about Povetkin is he’s got good skills, a great left hook, and Dillian Whyte can be hit. He’s been hurt before, and when you look at the position Dillian Whyte is in as far as being close to a mandatory shot [against Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3 winner], it’s madness that he keeps taking fights that he’s been taking,” said Hearn.

“I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again; he fights anyone, and you can’t do anything else but tip your hat to Dillian Whyte,” said Tony Bellew. “He’s a bit crazy with the way he goes about it sometimes, but you can’t help but admire him,” said Bellew.

It’s a given that Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn would pick his own fighter Whyte to beat Povetkin. You hate to say it, but it would be shocking if Hearn went the other way, and said Whyte would lose to Povetkin. It’s an easy pick, though, as Povetkin has looked great since 2017.

Povetkin’s last six fights:

  • Michael Hunter – Draw 10
  • Hughie Fury – UD 12 WIN
  • Anthony Joshua – TKO 7 LOSS
  • David Price – KO 5 win
  • Christian Hammer – UD 12 WIN
  • Andriy Rudenko – UD 12 WIN

The last time Povetkin looked sensational was his sixth-round knockout win over former heavyweight world title challenger Johann Duhaupas in December 2016. Since that fight, Povetkin hasn’t shown the same power and energy in his last six contests.

Bellew picks Whyte to beat Povetkin

“Do you fancy him,” said Hearn about Whyte.

“I do. I think he’s going to be too big and too strong for Alexander Povetkin,” said Bellew. “It’s tough to say it about Povetkin, but I just don’t think he’s the same animal that he once was.

“That’s diminishing things and taking things away because he’s been a brilliant fighter. But, he just looks like a different beast, and I think Dillian Whyte is going to blast him.

“I really do. I think he’ll hurt him immediately to the body, and then open him up. The only thing he has to worry about is that counter left hook. Povetkin does throw a mean left hook, and he’s sly and sneaky the way he does it. I just think he gets rid of Povetkin.

“Dillian, you can’t grasp how big he is until you stand with him, because I was always thinking after I beat David Haye, I fancy a bit of a tussle against Dillian. We were chatting and standing somewhere, and I was thinking, ‘You are proper long to me.’

“I was just a blown-up cruiserweight, and I thought, “He’s got to be 18, 19 stones walking around, and that’s on a good day for Dillian, to be honest,” said Bellew.

Whyte’s left hook, jab, and work rate will be a problem for Povetkin right away. But more than that, the size and the power of Whyte will give Povetkin issues.

Hunter might have knocked Povetkin out if he’d pressed him hard for the entire 10 round fight, but he backed off after getting hurt in the second round. In the first round, Hunter had Povetkin close to being knocked out with a flurry of punches he threw.

Alexander Povetkin Dillian Whyte

Dillian Whyte is in good shape

“He looks good now, he’s been training, and we’re on lockdown right now, and he’s had three months to get in condition,” said Hearn of Whyte. “And he looks in great, great shape.

“He was heavy in Saudi when he boxed out there, but I think he’s going to come in light and fresh,” said Hearn of Whyte.

“And he’s been out in Portugal where I’ve trained before at the Brown’s facility,” said Bellew of Dillian. “It’s a fantastic facility. The perfect training camp. Nothing there, just peace and quiet and tranquility. It’s perfect.

“So he’ll go in there, and I think he’ll be great. Knowing Dillian Whyte the way he prepares. Yes, I agree that he was in terrible shape in Saudi, but he’d been on that crazy show ‘The Cook-Off’ or whatever it’s called.

“Basically, Dillian eats everything he cooked, and it showed as a boxer. But ultimately, that’s what I say. Even when he’s not in shape, he’s willing to fight anyone. He went in there with Helenius and beat him pillar to post.

“He couldn’t deal with him. I’m looking forward to seeing it, but I just think Dillian Whyte is long overdue his shot and deserves it probably more than anyone in the world, to be honest.

“He fought everyone and fought former world champions when he didn’t need to face them. He’s faced, normal contenders. It’ crazy what the’s been on, so he deserves this shot,” said Bellew.

Whyte looks in good shape right now, and he’s probably going to be around 255 to 259.

Hunter arguably beat Povetkin in their match on December 7, and that was a match that the Russian fighter looked poor. You could see the age in Povetkin’s game in that fight, but his punching power was still there.

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