By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says he wants to stage the Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin rematch as early as November to schedule it ahead of the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III fight in December.
Hearn is hoping that if Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) defeats Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) in November, then he’ll “push” the WBC to have them order Fury vs. Dillian in early 2021, as they were planning on doing before.
Some boxing fans will see this desperate move by Hearn as an attempt by him to protect Anthony Joshua from Fury, who could spoil the party if he destroys him as he did to Wilder.
Hearn thinks Whyte still has shot at Fury fight
“I guess Alexander Povetkin is the new mandatory,” said Hearn Boxing Social. “He’s #1. The only thing that really changes is the time frame that was there for Dillian Whyte evaporates in the short term.
“We know if Dillian Whyte had won that fight, Tyson Fury would have been ordered to fight Dillian Whyte straightaway if he beats Deontay Wilder. That won’t happen now.
“The only thing now from Team Whyte and Team Povetkin’s side will be pushed is if that rematch takes place before Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Does the winner of that [Whyte-Povetkin 2] get ordered straightaway?
“I think there’s a clear understanding that Alexander Povetkin if he wins the rematch [with Whyte], he becomes mandatory when that time frame applies to. The time restriction was based around Dillian Whyte.
“The wait that he’s [Whyte] had over the years. I believe it frees up the situation for now [for Tyson Fury to face Anthony Joshua]. Still, I believe a victory or Dillian Whyte in a rematch can install him straight into the mandatory spot again and be ordered to fight for the WBC title.
“The only difference now is the time frame. You would say now that the WBC would much more likely allow Fury if he’s victorious [against Wilder] to fight Anthony Joshua.
“Though from our side and Dillian’s side, we would say if the [Whyte-Poetkin] rematch takes place before Wilder and Fury, and Dillian wins, does the same apply? That’s obviously a question down to the WBC,” said Hearn.
It sounds pretty desperate and farfetched on Hearn’s part with this seemingly half-baked plan of his for Whyte to force a title shot against Fury in early 2021.
For Hearn to realize his dream-thing, it’s going to require that Whyte beat Povetkin, which he just failed at, and then it would also need the World Boxing Council to order Fury to face Dillian in early 2021.
Whyte was supposed to be fighting for a world title as the WBC mandatory by next February. However, that was before his loss to Povetkin. That defeat has changed everything, and it’s not the same situation as before.
So even if Whyte does beat Povetkin in November, it’ll make the WBC look incredibly bad if they order Fury to face him before he can take on IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua.
Dillian must fight by November
“Joshua will go on the 8th or the 15th of December,” said Hearn. “So Dillian has got go really by the end of November at the latest, and that would mean a three-week rest now, and straight back into camp.
“Physically, he’s fine. We know it was a bad knockout,” Hearn said of Dillian. “You’re right, there will be a 28-day suspension, which won’t really affect his fight, but sometimes after a fight like that, a fighter goes, ‘I want to get back into camp.’
“He’s [Whyte] already gone back to Portugal today, and he’ll holiday there for a couple of weeks, chilling out and resting.
“There is going to be a big advantage for Povetkin and Whyte to do that fight before the Wilder-Fury fight because then they can push that position a lot harder with the WBC, you know? So that’s something we have to speak to Povetkin about.
“I think Dillian would be right and ready to box at the end of November,” Hearn continued. “Let’s see if Povetkin, he’s under contract for the rematch [with Whyte], but he has to be comfortable to take that fight on that period as well.
“But to be honest, if Povetkin is fine and he has a couple of weeks before he gets into a camp, it would help him a lot to push the WBC as well.
“I think with all being well, this fight [Whyte vs. Povetkin 2] could take place as early as November, but we’ll have to see what happens this week and we’ll go from there,” said Hearn.
Will Povetkin agree to jump right back into training camp to fight Whyte by November? I don’t see why he would. If only Whyte has the chance of forcing a fight against Fury in early 2021, then why would the 40-year-old Povetkin want to accommodate him?
What does Povetkin stand to gain in fighting Whyte in November rather than December? Unless Hearn is going to give Povetkin a huge amount of money to return in November against Whyte, it doesn’t make sense for him to get back into training camp so soon.
Povetkin will be turning 41 in September, and he needs rest more than the 32-year-old Whyte.
WBC will need to sanction Whyte-Povetkin 2
“Contractually, Alexander Povetkin has to rematch Dillian Whyte,” continued Hearn. “Of course, the WBC has to sanction every fight and approve every fight.
“It as a thrilling heavyweight fight, and everybody would want to see a rematch. It would be a huge rematch, so there’s no reason why I don’t see the WBC approving the interim World heavyweight championship rematch.
“But actually contractually, it doesn’t really matter for the fight itself. But, of course, we’d love that [interim WBC heavyweight title] to be on the line as well.
“That’s where Dillian Whyte has focused his attention for the last three, four years, so he still aims to fight for the WBC world title. Every fight has to go through a process [of being approved by the WBC], and we respect that process.
“We will write to [WBC president] Mauricio [Sulaiman] an say, ‘Look, you just witnessed one of the great heavyweight fights and one of the great dramas, and everyone wants to see the rematch. It’s huge.
“Are you okay, mate? A little rematch for the WBC interim title?’ And he will say, ‘Yes, I think the governors will say, yes.’ I don’t see any issue in that respect, but we’ll go through the contractual process,” said Hearn.
Povetkin has to fight Whyte again, but there’s nothing in the contract that states that he’s required to face him within three months to fight in November.
That’s not enough time for Povetkin, and who does it benefit more if he were to agree to that? Whyte. He’s younger, and he’s the one with a shot at fighting Fury in early 2021, not Povetkin.
If you’re Povetkin, you’d be making a mistake in agreeing to fight Whyte in November. The only way it makes sense is if Hearn is going to give Povetkin a lot more money by agreeing to do that.
Whyte can’t protect Joshua
Using Whyte as interference to protect Joshua, may only work temporarily for Hearn, an even then, it’s going to look obvious what he’s doing. Fans don’t want to see Fury fight Whyte. Even if Whyte avenges his loss to Povetkin in November, the boxing public will still want to see Fury face Joshua in early 2021.
Whyte has now been exposed by the 40-year-old Povetkin, and a victory over him in a rematch won’t erase the image boxing fan have in their minds of Dillian getting knocked cold.
Whyte’s fifth-round knockout loss to Povetkin last Saturday night temporarily have upset Hearn’s plans on forcing Fury to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Dillian, who was the mandated World Boxing Council challenger.
Povetkin is now the new WBC mandatory, but the sanctioning body isn’t going to order Fury to fight him because he hasn’t been waiting as long as Whyte. Also, Whyte has a rematch clause in his contract with Povetkin, and he’s going to execute that and look to face him as soon as possible. In this case, Hearn wants the Whyte-Povetkin 2 rematch to take place in November.
The way that the 32-year-old Whyte was BRUTALLY knocked out in the 5th round might make it difficult for him to be approved by the WBC in a rematch with Povetkin by November.
If the WBC suspends Whyte for 30 to 60 days to let him recover from the knockout, it leaves only one to two months to train for the rematch with Povetkin. Hearn seems to be confident that the WBC will let Whyte face Povetkin by November with the interim WBC heavyweight title on the line.
Povetkin took advantage of the situation
“He’s got great one-punch power, and the movement of Povetkin is always the key,” said Hearn to Boxing Social in talking about Whyte’s knockout loss.
“What was so impressive about the punch was it wasn’t a lucky punch or a punch thrown out of desperation. It was a punch that extremely calculated, and something they were working on,” Hearn said of Team Povetkin.
“To throw that at a time when his brain was probably scrambled, and he was on the verge of losing the fight was very impressive. I watched it back probably 40 times, and it was just the slightest bit of clumsiness from Dillian, and it was just like that.
“He punished him. That’s what world-class fighters do. They punish your mistakes. It wasn’t thrown with anger, and it wasn’t thrown with extreme force. It was thrown with timing, and unfortunately, those are the shots that knock you clean-out,” said Hearn.
Povetkin had been giving Whyte problems the entire fight with his power shots, so it shouldn’t have been a shock to Hearn that he knocked him out in the fifth round. Whyte had already shown in his fights against Joshua and Oscar Rivas that he’s vulnerable to uppercuts.
Povetkin saw that obviously and waited until he had him in the perfect spot to land one of those punches. Povetkin throws a better uppercut than Rivas does, and he took advantage of Whyte’s vulnerability in that department.