Dillian Whyte previews Alexander Povetkin clash
By Kenneth Friedman: Interim WBC heavyweight champion Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) is risking everything this month against Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) on August 22 at the Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex, UK. Fans can watch Whyte-Povetkin on Sky Box Office and DAZN.
Whyte, 32, will have his interim WBC title as well as his mandatory status with the World Boxing Council up for the taking against the 40-year-old Povetkin.
Losing the interim WBC trinket would be no big deal for Whyte, but he can’t afford to lose his mandatory status as the challenger to WBC champion Tyson Fury.
As long as Whyte wins on August 22 against Povetkin, he’ll be facing the winner of the December contest between Fury and Deontay Wilder. Dillian will face one of them as long as they don’t vacate the WBC crown after they battle in the fall.
The Body Snatcher not underestimating Povetkin
“There’s been a lot of stuff going on. I’ve been waiting 1000 days to fight for the title, which is a bit crazy,” said Whyte to Yahoo Sports News. “Tyson Fury decided to fight Deontay Wilder as a voluntary, and then he got a rematch clause and had a draw with Wilder.
“Then he beat Wilder, and now there’s a third fight. It just mixes things up. They [World Boxing Council] have an obligation to keep me happy,” said Whyte.
Dillian should be careful about what he wishes for in wanting Fury. He wants to fight Tyson Fury in the worst way, but that match could turn out to his version of Waterloo. Fury is enormous, and he’ll be looking to outbox and frustrate Whyte.
“The key is not to underestimate him and take him seriously like I’ve been doing because he’s another guy that’s won everything as an amateur,” said Whyte about Povetkin.
“As an amateur, he’s won everything and the gold medal. As a professional, he won the WBA heavyweight champion of the world.
“For me, it’s not to underestimate him and take him seriously, and realize he’s a serious threat,” continued Whyte on Povetkin. “Nowadays heavyweights are going to their mid-40s.
“George Foreman was more dominant in his late age than he was in his earlier age. Povetkin is an old school Russian tough guy,” said Whyte.
Whether Whyte underestimates Povetkin or not, it’s still going to be a difficult fight for him. Dillian might not have enough talent to beat Povetkin, which means he would need to rough him up and look to slug instead of box.
Povetkin technically sound
“So you know he’s going to be strong, be brave and be gallant, and I think he’s one of the best boxers technically from a schooling standpoint,” said Whyte on Alexander Povetkin.
“Technically, he’s sound, and he’s still very strong and very patient. These are things that he’s been doing consistently for the last ten years. He hasn’t been showing signs that he’s slowing down has lost his speed,” Dillian said.
Povetkin, 40, comes from the old Soviet system in Russia, and he was trained well. He’s not just technical, though. He’s also something of a brute with his power and toughness.
“Everyone thought Joshua was going to knock him out. Joshua was bending down and got caught. Sometimes timing beats speed. It’s like having a fast car and not knowing how to drive.
“If someone knows how to drive, they can beat you with a much slower car. So I’m going to need to be consistent in many areas in speed, toughness, and grit. I’m going to have to out-muscle and out-box him at points.
“I’m sure I can do it. I’ve been doing it against top-level fighters. After this fight [Povetkin] and everything goes good, then I want to fight the two top guys in front of me. Then I should be #3 in the world.
“I want to fight the top two guys in front of me. Deontay Wilder didn’t fight me for 100 million years, so why should I go and fight him?” said Whyte.
Dillian can’t overlook Povetkin on August 22 because if he loses to him, then he will no longer be the WBC mandatory.
Fury-Wilder 3 winner must fight Dillian
“At the minute, we’re coming to terms with the WBC, and obviously, I’m the mandatory, and I think they will honor the mandatory,” said Whyte. “They moved it before. I haven’t done anything wrong, and I’ve done everything right.
“I’ve done everything they’ve told me. They will honor the mandatory with Fury. The winner of Wilder and Fury will have to fight me. They would have to fight me before they fight Joshua,” Dillian said.
Whyte is the mandatory now with the WBC, but he missed his chance to earn that spot in 2018 when they ordered him to face Luis Ortiz. Dillian didn’t take the fight and had to wait a year before the WBC ordered him to face Oscar Rivas.
“One of them will have to fight me. They may vacate the belt and fight Joshua. You never know. I want to fight Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua while there’s a belt in the back burner. They’re the top guys,” said Whyte.
“I would like to think so,” said Whyte when asked if he has the speed advantage over Povetkin. “He’s the kind of guy that because he’s so precise in what he’s done, and he doesn’t start fast.
“He doesn’t rush, and he’s very consistent and very technical, and he’s got very good eyes. When he fought Joshua, everyone thought Joshua was going to smoke him. But he almost knocked Joshua out.,” said Whyte about Povetkin.
It would be a nightmare for Whyte is Fury beats Wilder, and then chooses not to fight him. Dillian whats the fight with Fury, and it would be terribly disappointing to him if Fury gives up his WBC title rather than defend it against him.
Dillian could be elevated to full WBC champ
“I am the [WBC] interim champion, which means champion,” Dillian said. “If Wilder and Fury are both injured and can’t fight, I will be a full champion, which I should be, and then I’ll fight the next available contender for the belt.
“In a way, it’s a trinket, but it’s something for fighters to fight for. It’s a great incentive for fighters to have a title. It’s a great thing.” said Dillian.
You can’t rule out the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III winner vacating the WBC title so that they can go straight into the fight for the undisputed championship with Anthony Joshua. Whyte doesn’t want to win the WBC title fighting one of the top contenders, but that’s a possibility.
“The WBC organization is giving fighters opportunities; otherwise, the belts become locked down like when Klitschko and his brother had the belts. You had to do what they say when they say.
“You had to go to Germany, and they were the biggest guys around for however long, you know? The lifestyle and the training,” said Whyte when asked what’s different now from when he lost Anthony Joshua in 2015.
“I had seven amateur fights, and I didn’t win anything as an amateur. So I didn’t have that luxury in signing with a promoter for a signing bonus and people looking to promote me,” Dillian said.
Whyte put in such an excellent performance in his loss to Joshua in 2015 that Eddie Hearn chose to sign him shortly after that.
Yeah, it’s disappointing that Whyte wasn’t signed by a high-powered promoter when he first turned pro, but he eventually did, and now his career is going well. Whyte is wealthy and poised for a title shot against the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3 fight if he gets past Povetkin.
Winning with power only
“I was just a guy from the streets that could punch, and I could fight,” said Whyte. “I was living at home and training locally, and I was lifting a bunch of weights and doing things locally, and I could punch.
“All I had to do was hit these guys, and they’d fall over. I wasn’t training like a pro. It worked for 15 or 16 fights before I met Anthony Joshua,” said Whyte.
In that part of Whyte’s pro career, he was effectively going through on the job training in learning his craft slowly. Because he didn’t have a real amateur career, Whyte had to learn in the pro ranks against fierce but limited opposition.
He didn’t get a chance to fight the tremendous amateur fighters that Joshua and many other warriors fought, but he still was able to learn from the pros how to compete at a high level.
“I was knocking everybody out. And I was coming up, living my life, and eating what I wanted, and I was doing what I wish to in training.
“I was training for six weeks and beating these guys, you know? That’s a dangerous thing for young fighters when they’re knocking everyone out,” said Whyte.
In the early days of Whyte’s career, he was banging his opponents out with his sturdy left hooks. He didn’t look all that skilled, but his power in his left hook and his toughness enabled him to roll over his opponents like a Sherman tank.
Whyte fought Joshua with a shoulder injury
“I went up against Anthony Joshua, an Olympic gold medalist, and European amateur world champion, who’d been in the Olympic setup for many years and had been training properly,” said Whyte.
“What I realized in the fight was I had injuries, and he was injury-free because I never saw a physio until five or six years ago. I didn’t even see a physio. I had a shoulder that I was fighting with a dislocated shoulder,” said Whyte.
For Dillian to take the Anthony Joshua fight with a dislocated left shoulder, that was a crazy thing for him to do. He was fighting with just one arm from the third round on, and he had no chance of winning.
Although Whyte had Joshua hurt in round two, he couldn’t take him out. After that round, Whyte’s left shoulder gave out, and he was slapping with it for the remainder of the clash.
“I’d go and get a cortisone injection in there and go and fight. I’d been in pain for two or three months after. It would stop, and then I’d fight again and stuff like that. I didn’t know little things to strengthen your shoulders and small things.
“And I didn’t know about all these things. I was just a guy at home, eating my mom’s Caribbean food, training. I didn’t think about dieting and stuff. This is the food that I great up eating. It’s good stuff. I didn’t know that you had to cut certain things.
Dillian was in excellent shape for the Oscar Rivas fight, and his physique looked better than it ever had before or since. He needs to get back to that level if he wants to beat fighters like Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
Dillian training better now
“The difference between then and now is I have more experience, and I got a better lifestyle,” said Whyte. “I became somebody after the Anthony Joshua fight, and it showed me with what I’m doing, I was close to beating one of the best fighters in the world.
“So if I do things seriously and live properly and build a team around me, I can be a world champion. That’s the difference,” said Whyte.
What’s more critical now for Dillian, 32, is he’s training harder, and not letting his weight get out of hand.
What Dillian needs to avoid is getting out of shape in between fights as we saw when he came in overweight at 271 pounds for his match against journeyman Mariusz Wach last December.
There’s no excuse for Whyte being that heavy before a fight, even if it’s a stay-busy variety.
“You’re living at home and going and knocking people out, and you’re thinking, ‘I’m doing alright. I don’t need to change anything. I don’t need to move away from home and go and train there for 12 weeks or 15 weeks,'” said Whyte.
“You think that you can prepare and still take your kids to school. In reality, you can’t. If you want to do it properly and dedicated to your craft, you can’t. If you’re training three times a day, you’ve got to rest.
“You’ve got no time to hang out with your mates. You have to be dedicated to your craft 24 hours a day,” said Dillian.
Whyte needs to back up his rhetoric with proper hard training and not take fights when he’s not 100 percent. He should have never fought Joshua with a shoulder injury in 2015. That was a mistake.
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