Eddie Hearn: Whyte can’t lose to Povetkin and still be a PPV fighter

By Boxing News - 09/07/2020 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Dillian Whyte needs to beat Alexander Povetkin in their possible November rematch for him to remain as a pay-per-view attraction, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

In not subtle shot across the bow, Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn said that the 32-year-old Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) needs to avenge his loss to interim WBC heavyweight champion Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) in their rematch if he wants to stay as a PPV draw.

A second loss to Povetkin could send Whyte back to British level to where he’ll be toiling away for next to nothing, haunted by his faulty decision-making. ‘Why did I take the rematch with Povetkin?’

Heck, Hearn is already talking about possibly feeding Whyte to Daniel Dubois in 2021 if he loses the rematch with Povetkin.

That fight could be viewed as the last chance saloon for Whyte, and you can understand why Hearn is floating that idea.

Image: Eddie Hearn: Whyte can’t lose to Povetkin and still be a PPV fighter

If Whyte is no longer able to handle it at the world level, Hearn and Matchroom should cut their losses and move. There are plenty of young lions that Eddie can sign that have a future.

Hearn can still save Dillian

Two defeats in a row to the 40-year-old Povetkin would be disastrous career-wise for Whyte, and it would likely send him into a downward spiral that he won’t be able to escape from.

It’s ultimately up to Whyte whether he wants to take the rematch with the talented former WBA’ regular’ heavyweight champion Povetkin. This is Whyte’s baby if he chooses to take the rematch, and you can bet that Hearn will be distancing himself from taking responsibility for the choice to take the fight.

It’s not too late for Whyte to smell the coffee and back out of the rematch with Povetkin. He doesn’t have to do this. I mean, isn’t dragging Whyte into the second fight against Povetkin against his will.

It’s Whyte that wants this fight, as he’s convinced that his 5th round knockout loss to Povetkin last month on August 22 was just a matter of him making a simple mistake.

In other words, all the work and expertise that Povetkin put into training for the fight wasn’t the reason why Dillian lost. To say that Whyte is a tad bit deluded is an understatement. That’s why it’s troubling that Hearn isn’t trying to save Whyte from himself by taking him out of fighting Povetkin again because the risk is too high.

Whyte needs to beat Povetkin

“Someone said to me, ‘when are you going to realize that Dillian Whyte isn’t a pay-per-view fighter?'” said Hearn to IFL TV. “What constitutes a pay-per-view fighter in your eyes?

Image: Eddie Hearn: Whyte can’t lose to Povetkin and still be a PPV fighter

“For me, it’s someone that does good numbers on pay-per-view. He [Whyte] has done [Dereck] Chisora, Joseph Parker, Chisora II, [Oscar] Rivas, and Povetkin. The lowest of those was Rivas at 230 [thousand PPV buys].

“Parker did well over 300,000 buys, Chisora did well over 300,000 buys, and Povetkin did well over 300,000 buys. If that’s not a pay-per-view fighter, then I don’t know what is.

“But he [Whyte] does need to win his next fight. He can’t lose to Alexander Povetkin and still be a pay-per-view fighter,” said Hearn about Dillian.

So there it is. Hearn says that if Whyte wants to stay as a pay-per-view fighter, he MUST beat Povetkin in the rematch. Talk about having pressure on you, eh?

With that kind of stress, wouldn’t it be better for Whyte to get a couple of confidence boosters under his belt before he looks to face Povetkin again?

That would be a smarter move then for Whyte to roll the dice again in the hope that Povetkin doesn’t knock him cold the second time around.

If you look at this from a tactical point of view, it’s smarter for Whyte to take a few tune-ups against guys that he knows he can beat. Whyte has already proven that the British boxing public will pay to see him on Sky Box Office, even against fringe level heavyweights.

Where does Dillian go if he loses?

“Dillian, if he loses this fight, what does he do? Go back to British level?” said David Price. “Do you go back to the British level? That’s something you always ask of a fighter that has become a pay-per-view fighter in his own right.

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“It would be a big fall from grace if the same thing were to happen again [to Whyte]. That’ll be on his mind going into it, but if he’s switched on, he can steal it.

“I think it’s going to be pretty much the same that was happening [in the first fight] with Dillian pretty much boxing beautifully and being cautious,” Price said when asked how he sees the Whyte-Povetkin rematch going.

“I think he can hurt him. He’s [Whyte] hurt him before, and he can hurt him again, but that goes both ways. I think Dillian can hurt him, get the job done and turn the tables and stop him.

“It was in his hands to do that last time, but I think he can do it. I think it just depends on how he feels. The last time, the pressure of it all, but I think he can deal with it. I think he’ll put it right,” said Price n Dillian.

It’s difficult to predict what Whyte will do if he loses the rematch with Povetkin. My guess is he’ll try and force a third fight and hope that three’s a charm. To see that would be wretched.

Knowing Povetkin, he might feel sorry for Whyte and give him a third fight, but it would be pathetic. At that point, you would hope that Hearn would step in and be the voice of reason to help Whyte pick up the broken pieces of his career.

No other choice for the ‘Body Snatcher’

“Where does Povetkin come into it?” said Price. “I just thought that Povetkin’s team would sidestep the rematch [with Whyte]. “‘Look, we’re not going to have the rematch. We’re just going to wait and have the WBC against Fury.

Image: Eddie Hearn: Whyte can’t lose to Povetkin and still be a PPV fighter

“But the gentlemen that they are, and they’re tied in legally, they’re going to oblige and take the rematch. If Fury doesn’t fight Wilder, then who is he going to fight?

“I don’t think he [Dillian] has any other choice. Going by the way the fight was going, the shot landed, and I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again, and I’ll have the fight won,'” said Price about Whyte having no choice but to face Povetkin again.

“It is a gamble because if he doesn’t win, then where does he go? Right now, it’s still fresh off the fight. The best thing for him is to go and have a rematch. I’ll help him get over the defeat because he’s straight back in the gym.

“The worst thing after you lose is sitting around, not knowing who you’re going to fight,” said Price.

In hindsight, that’s what Whyte should have done this time. As the WBC mandatory, Whyte didn’t need to face Povetkin.

Dillian was already locked in as WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s mandatory, and he would have gotten a chance to fight for the belt in early 2021, or it would have been given to him outside of the ring.

Price was shocked

“Dillian Whyte has an aura about him as something of a menace,” Price continued. “He’s a hard b*****. We all know that, and to see him get knocked out.  That was a shocking image as well, even though he’s been down against Joseph Parker and Joshua did it to him too.

“Dillian Whyte has a solid chin, but to see that, it just goes to show that it’s heavyweight boxing.

Image: Eddie Hearn: Whyte can’t lose to Povetkin and still be a PPV fighter

“If you get hit on the right spot at the right time, it doesn’t matter who you are. You increase the chances of that happening by drilling that and drilling that in the gym,” said Price about Povetkin working on his knockout punches like the one he used against Whyte.

“The best-case scenario, that happens [Whyte gets knocked out]. In the worst-case scenario, it lands and wobbles the opponent, but you’re drilling it in the gym. But it was the best-case scenario from what he practiced happened,” Price said about Povetkin.

“I was [surprised], given what had happened in the fourth round,” said David on him being shocked by Povetkin knocking out Whyte. “The first three rounds were pretty even, but then in the fourth round, it was like, ‘I just want to go now.

“He’s [Povetkin] gone.’ And then it was a bolt from the blue. I shouldn’t have been shocked because Povetkin is a quality operator,” David said.

Price is giving Whyte more credit for having a good chin than he deserves because Joshua had already knocked him out in the past.

Additionally, Oscar Rivas and Joseph Parker both hand Whyte on the canvas in their fights. If Whyte had a great chin, then why those two fighters knocked him down?

Povetkin picks the right time to unleash the power

“Carlos Takam, Manuel Charr, and Johann Duhaupas, three sturdy, low-center of gravity shorter fighters with their hands high and chin down,” said Pricey. “They’re pretty hard to knockout because they’re protected better and more compact.

Image: Eddie Hearn: Whyte can’t lose to Povetkin and still be a PPV fighter

“He [Povetkin] chinned the three of them the way he chinned Dillian and me, and he chinned the three of them. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I started to look before the fight, ‘Is age going to be a factor?’

“The last thing that Povetkin is going to lose will be that punch. When Povetkin was punching me, at first, when I fought him, I was like, ‘There’s not much in these shots. I can’t feel it.’

“But then he lulls you into a false sense of security, and then he picked the right time to let loose the shot that he wants to do damage.

“That’s why he’s as good as he is, and that’s why Anthony Joshua’s win over him is probably underestimated of how good it was to knock him out in the 7th round.

“Only [Wladimir] Klitschko had beaten him [Povetkin] before, and it was a 12-round job. That win hasn’t been given the credit that it deserves, but we will do now after seeing Dillian,” said Price.

Dillian can get the most mileage out of his career if he steers a wide path around Povetkin and heads into safer waters. Whyte would likely be made mandatory in a short period for one of the four belts, and then he could sit and wait until he gets his big payday.