By Jeff Aronow: The heavyweight match between Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte and former WBA champion Alexander Povetkin will now be shown on DAZN in the U.S. for boxing fans on August 22.
Whyte-Povetkin is a good fight with possibly the winner challenging for a world title in 2021 or later. Povetkin, 40, lost to IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 2018, and he’s 1-0-1 since then in beating Hughie Fury and fighting to a 10 round draw against Michael Hunter.
There won’t be any world titles on the line for the Whyte vs. Povetkin clash, but there’s a chance that the winner could face WBC champion, Tyson Fury, in 2021 or 2022.
Will DAZN get value for Whyte-Povetkin investment?
WBC interim heavyweight champion Whyte (27-1, 18 K.O.s) and Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 K.O.s) will go at starting at 5:00 pm ET. from the Matchroom Fight Camp, in Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Although DAZN shows Matchroom cards in the U.S., the pay-per-view events aren’t part of the deal. Whyte vs. Povetkin is being shown on Sky Box Office PPV in the United Kingdom. Dillian is a popular heavyweight in the U.K., and many of his fights are shown on pay-per-view over there.
It’s unclear how much extra DAZN had to pay to secure the rights to show Whyte vs. Povetkin in the U.S., but hopefully not too much. The hardcore boxing fans in the United States will be interested in watching Whyte and Povetkin go at it, but not the casual fans.
Unless DAZN and Matchroom market this fight hard in the next week, it’s likely to go below the radar for the average casual U.S. boxing fan. They won’t know about it, and thus they won’t’ subscribe or reactivate their suspended accounts.
“This is by far the biggest night of boxing since the sport has emerged from lockdown and it’s a huge coup for DAZN,” said Hearn. “The WBC has already ordered Tyson Fury to face Whyte if he comes through Povetkin so the heat is on! Don’t miss it!”
More likely than not, the Whyte vs. Povetkin winner will fight for the vacant WBC title after it’s either vacated or stripped from Fury. With that kind of scenario, the winner of the Whyte-Povetkin match will face one of these contenders for the vacant WBC title:
3. Luis Ortiz
4. Andy Ruiz, Jr.
5. Oscar Rivas
6. Joseph Parker
7. Daniel Dubois
8. Filip Hrgovic
WBC title is expendable
Dillian vs. Povetkin won’t face #1 Wilder or #2 Usyk, as both of those guys already have fights ahead of them. With all the grumbling Whyte and Hearn have done about the delay in Dillian getting his title shot with the WBC, it shouldn’t matter if he doesn’t face Fury or Wilder for that belt.
It does matter a lot, as Whyte wants to fight a famous fighter for the WBC belt, not someone like Ortiz, Rivas, Parker, Dubois, or Hrgovic.
What Hearn isn’t saying is that Fury’s promoter Frank Warren has already gone on record this past week by saying that he isn’t going to be fighting Whyte in 20201. Fury’s plans for 2021 don’t involve the 32-year-old WBC mandatory Whyte, who may need to continue waiting for his mandated title shot.
‘The Gypsy King’ will be fighting former WBC champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder in December or February. If Fury wins that fight, then he’ll take on Joshua, as long as he defeats WBO mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 K.O.) in their contest in November.
By the way, Joshua vs. Pulev still doesn’t have an official date or location. Hearn has been waiting to decide on a date and place because of his hopes that crowds will be allowed back for boxing events in the fall.
Whyte will be looking to overturn the applecart
Fury and Joshua have a two-fight deal in 2021, which will make them both a tremendous amount of money.
That’s why Fury and his promoters don’t want him to use up valuable time defending against Whyte because that’s a match that won’t bring in the same kind of money as the Joshua contest, and there’s also a certain amount of risk involved.
Whyte can punch, and he might get lucky against the 6’9″ Fury if he lands on of his Hail Mary shots.
It’s also risky for Fury to not face Joshua in early 2021 due to the potential that A.J. could lose to someone while waiting for the Fury-Whyte contest. Joshua isn’t just going to sit and wait for the smoke to clear from Fury’s title defense against Whyte.
If Fury faces Whyte, then Joshua will almost surely defend against his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk. That’s a risky match-up for Joshua, as the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk has talent. And ould wear Joshua down and stop him the way that Ruiz Jr did.
With everything that’s one the line, Fury would be making a mistake if he bothers to defend against Whyte in early 2021. It’s not just the risk that Fury has of losing to Whyte.
Again, there’s also the potential that Joshua could get beaten by Usyk (17-0, 13 K.O.s), and that would mess everything up.
Fans want Joshua vs. Fury straightaway
It’ll be difficult for Joshua and Fury to be appropriately motivated if the two of them wind up taking tune-up fights first before they meet each other.
DAZN will get their money’s worth in acquiring the rights to show Whyte-Alexander on August 22 if the winner winds up facing WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury by February of 2021.
That’s supposed to be the deadline for Whyte getting his title shot at the WBC title. The World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman assured Whyte last week that he’ll be getting his title shot by early 2021.
But what Sulaiman can’t do is forcefully drag the winner of the Fury vs. Wilder III trilogy match to defend the WBC belt against Whyte if they don’t want to.
It seems evident that the winner of the Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight will throw the WBC belt into the bin, and move on to the biggest fight in the sport against IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua. The WBC title is expendable. Joshua is not.
In the chief support fight on the Povetkin vs. Whyte card, IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO female lightweight champion Katie Taylor will be facing Delfine Persoon (44-2, 18 K.O.s) in a 10-round rematch. Taylor-Persoon is expected to take place around 4:00 pm E.T.
The unbeaten 34-year-old Taylor (15-0, 6 K.O.s) beat Persoon by a 10 round majority decision last year in June 2019 on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York.