By Charles Brun: Alexander Povetkin will be facing Dillian Whyte in a rematch on November 21 in the UK. The fight is set, according to Mike Coppinger. Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) will be fighting for the interim WBC heavyweight title as well as the mandatory position.
The rematch is expected to take place in Whyte’s home country of England in London. It doesn’t matter, though, because the fight will likely be staged behind closed doors.
Unless something changes in that area with the UK government allowing crowds back by November 21, Whyte and Povetkin will be fighting without fans.
Whyte and his promoter Eddie Hearn wants to right the wrongs of what happened to him last August when he was separated from his senses by the more experienced Povetkin. Dillian wasn’t supposed to lose the fight, as many know.
Fans don’t want to see a second Whyte-Povetkin fight
A lot of fans don’t want to see Whyte and Povetkin fight again, especially the ones that will need to pay to see it on Sky Box Office pay-per-view. Whyte is getting his rematch with Povetkin courtesy of the rematch clause he had in the contract, which he had as the A-side fighter.
If Povetkin had lost, he wouldn’t have been able to force a rematch similarly. It’s nice to be the A-side. Fans wanted to see Povetkin move forward and fight for the world title against WBC champion Tyson Fury.
Instead of being able to do that, Povetkin is stuck fighting Whyte again due to the rematch clause. But in reality, Povetkin would likely be fighting Whyte also even if there wasn’t a rematch clause.
With the deep pockets that Matchroom has, they would likely have made Povetkin an offer he can’t refuse to face Dillian a second time, and we’d be right back here staring at a looming rematch that few fans want to see on November 21.
The old warrior Povetkin was brought in as a warm-up fight for Whyte to get him ready to challenge for a world title against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in early 2021.
Povetkin was seen as an easy mark after his 10 round draw against Michael Hunter last December, and his seventh-round TKO defeat against Anthony Joshua in 2018.
The rematch clause leaves Povetkin with no choice
Unfortunately for Whyte, Hearn, and Matchroom Boxing, Povetkin showed that even at the ripe age of 4,0, he was good enough to beat Dillian.
For this writer, I’m not surprised in the least that Whyte lost to Povetkin>Whyte had come close to losing to Dereck Chisora, Joseph Parker, and Oscar Rivas. He’d also looked terrible in his last match against 39-year-old journeyman Mariusz Wach last December, a fight in which he took a beating in winning an ugly 10 round decision.
Whyte looked like he crawled out out a warzone after that fight. He took more punishment at the hands of Wach then he did in his knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015, and that’s more than a little troubling.
When you’re getting beaten up by journeyman, it’s a red flag that you’re not as talented as you and your fans think you are.
Whyte came into the Wach fight weighing 271 lbs and looked unfit to be boxing a professional fighter.
It’s a risky proposition for the famous Whyte, 32, to be taking on Povetkin a second time, as he was knocked out three weeks ago in the fifth round by the Russian fighter on August 22 in Brentwood, Essex.
Alexander wasn’t dominated
Whyte’s fans have been saying that he dominated the entire match against Povetkin, so it makes sense for him to be forcing a quick rematch. It didn’t look like a one-sided match to me.
Povetkin fought Whyte to a standstill in the first three rounds. Whyte had a great 4th round in twice dropping Povetkin, but then he got sloppy in the 5th and was knocked out.
By the time Whyte meets Povetkin on November 21, he’ll have had 13 weeks to recover from his scary 5th round knockout. Whyte was knocked out in the clinical sense.
It wasn’t a technical knockout in which the referee steps in the halt the fight to protect the boxer. In this case, Whyte was unconscious from the left hook that the 40-year-old Povetkin landed in the 5th round.
If Dillian had continued fighting as he’d done in the 4th round, then you could say that he dominated Povetkin, and he has nothing to worry about in the rematch. But that’s not what happened. One couldn’t pick between the two in the first three rounds, as neither guy was able to get the upper hand on the other.
It was only in round four in which Dillian finally had a good round in dropping Alexander twice, and seemingly having him close to being knocked out. However, even in that round, you could get that Povetkin wasn’t hurt, and he was looking for the right moment to land a big shot.
Of the two, you’d have to favor Povetkin in the rematch between he finished up as the better fighter, and he now knows how to beat Dillian. Moreover, Whyte has suffered a nasty knockout loss, and there’s going to be massive potential for him to suffer the same fate in the rematch.
What happens if Whyte gets hurt?
The critical question is, why is the British Boxing Board of Control, allowing Whyte to return to the ring so quickly after the knockout he experienced?
It’s mind-boggling that any civilized country in the world would allow a fighter to get back in the ring three months after the knockout that Whyte suffered. What happens if Whyte is badly hurt in the rematch? You can imagine the fallout in the aftermath of something like that happening.
Hearn will be an obvious target by fans for letting Whyte return so soon after his vicious knockout loss. The unfortunate part is there’s no reason for Whyte to come back this quickly. I mean, Dillian isn’t going to be ordered to face Whyte in the first half of 2021.
With Whyte’s knockout loss to Povetkin last August, that ship has flown. The lock has been reset with the WBC, who have made it clear that Fury is free to face Joshua in 2021 without needing to worry about his WBC mandatory challenger getting in the way.
But you have to believe that Hearn must think that he has a chance to talk the WBC into ordering Fury to face Dillian in early next year. It’s a win-win for Matchroom regardless if Whyte loses to Fury.
A fight between Dillian and Fury will make a lot of money, and Matchroom would be a part of them. So if Whyte loses, it’s still money for Matchroom. But where it works for Hearn and Matchroom is if Whyte beats Fuy, because if he does that, then Joshua is off the hook. He won’t be facing Fury.
It would be Dillian facing Fury a second time in a rematch that would make massive money.
WBC unlikely to order Fury vs. Whyte in early 2021
It’s very, very doubtful that the WBC will order Fury to face Whyte in early next year if Dillian can beat Povetkin on November 21. If it doesn’t happen, then Whyte will have needlessly put his career and health at risk in facing Povetkin in November.
It would be better for Whyte and Povetkin to wait until 2021 before they fight again because there’s a greater chance that crowds will be allowed back by then. Also, it gives Whyte more time to recover from his knockout loss to Povetkin.
You can argue that Whyte should face Povetkin coming off of an eight or nine-month rest than it is for him to fight him after just three months.
“Breaking: The Alexander Povetkin-Dillian Whyte rematch is set for November 21,” said @MikeCoppinger.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) September 7, 2020
Some boxing fans believe that the reason why Hearn is letting Whyte return to the ring so soon to face Povetkin is that Eddie needs him to run interference for IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua to protect him from Tyson Fury. Whyte will be the WBC mandatory if he beats Povetkin, which was the position he occupied previously before getting knocked out.
If Whyte beats Povetkin, it’s believed that Hearn will immediately get on his soapbox and start crying for the World Boxing Council to order Fury to defend against Dillian in early 2021.
If Whyte loses this fight, there are going to be a lot of finger-pointing going on from fans and other promoters at Matchroom for being in such a hurry to set up the rematch.
Dillian gains nothing
There’s nothing to gain for Whyte in jumping back into the ring so soon to face Povetkin, 40, so quickly, considering that he’s not expected to be able to force a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in early 2021.
But you have to believe that the sole reason that Whyte is facing Povetkin so quickly in taking him on in November in the hope that the WBC will then order Fury to defend against him in early 2021.
That’s the way it would have been had Whyte not been knocked out by Povetkin last August.