By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says Dillian Whyte’s career will be in the terminal stage if he loses to Alexander Povetkin for a second time when they meet up on November 21 in a rematch UK.
Losing a second time against Povetkin will erase any chances for Whyte to challenge for a world title, perhaps for good. It’s taken Whyte nine years as a professional to get to this point where he’ll be close to getting a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury if he beats Povetkin.
Hearn isn’t sure when the World Boxing Council will call the mandatory to challenge Fury, but he’s hoping it’s early 2020. If Whyte doesn’t win against Povetkin, his title hopes will be sunk.
Whyte would still be able to make money peddling his fights to the British fans on Sky Box Office, but he won’t be fighting for any straps other the domestic level. The 32-year-old Dillian would be in the same boat as Dereck Chisora and Dave Allen. Whyte would be reduced to that of a domestic level heavyweight if he gets beaten for a second time by Povetkin.
Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) knows what’s at stake in his rematch with former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs). The WBC mandatory is the obvious thing that will be up for grabs in the Whyte-Povetkin 2 rematch on November 2 on Sky.
Whoever comes out on top in the Whyte vs. Povetkin II fight will be mandatory for WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who still needs to win his next contest against Deontay Wilder on December 19.
Whyte losing Povetkin will be terminal
“All of a sudden pressure is not just trying to become mandatory to fight Tyson Fury. This is the pressure of his career on November 21,” said Eddie Hearn about Dillian Whyte to Sky Sports Boxing.
“Controlling the fight on August 22, and then all of a sudden just like that, his career spins on its head.
“So he’s hugely motivated to put this right, but it’s extremely dangerous, and of course, going into the rematch just thirteen weeks after the first fight is very, very dangerous, but Dillian Whyte wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think it’s terminal for his title chances, and that’s obviously the ultimate aim for Dillian Whyte,” Hearn said when asked if a second loss to Povetkin would be “terminal” for Dillian’s career. “I think he knows the pressures.
“He was deeply disappointed getting knocked out from an amazing bit of skill from Alexander Povetkin, and he’s got to put that right. Povetkin and his team are ready to go.
“They’ve knocked him out once; they think they’re going to do it again in November. So a very confident Alexander Povetkin, and all of a sudden all the pressures lie on the shoulders of Dillian Whyte.
It might not be the end of Whyte’s title chances, even if he gets knocked out by Povetkin again. Look at Martin Murray. He fought for world titles on four separate occasions and lost each time. Murray kept getting chances to fight for titles despite his lack of success.
As long as Dillian doesn’t undermine his cause by failing to negotiate when Hearn tries to set up world title shots for him, he should still be OK if he loses to Povetkin again.
Povetkin-Whyte 2 winner may need to wait
“Probably because it certainly allows the Joshua fight to happen with fewer obstacles, but don’t forget that the winner of this fight is the [WBC] mandatory,” Hearn continued when asked if Tyson Fury is glad that Whyte lost.
“Now it’s just when that [WBC] mandatory is called,” Hearn said about the Whyte vs. Povetkin 2 rematch. The winner on November 21 will be WBC mandatory. It’s just when that will be called.
“I know Dillian Whyte will be pushing that as hard as he can, but it’s just about getting that victory. If he gets that victory, his world title shot will come, and that’s really all that matters,” said Hearn.
It sounds like Hearn is counting on the WBC ordering the winner of the Whyte vs. Povetkin II fight Fury in early 2021. The WBC isn’t going to do that because if they did, it would give the appearance that they’re kowtowing to Hearn and Matchroom.
You can bet that if Povetkin wins the rematch with Dillian, he won’t get a title shot against WBC champion Fury until 2022. If that’s the situation for Povetkin, then it should be the same for Whyte.
DiBella: Dillian knows what’s at stake
“I gave Eddie a lot of credit for trying to get that in the ring a quickly as he can,” said promoter Lou DiBella to Secondsout on the Whyte vs. Povetkin rematch.
“I thought he [Whyte] won every second of the Povetkin match other than that incredible shot [from Povetkin].
“I felt bad for him when things got derailed with that punch, but he succumbed to the risk that Povetkin brought to the table,” DiBella continued about Povetkin.
“And I think now I’m interested in the rematch because I think if he avoids that danger and that pitiful, I think he’s going to be back on track.
“I think he’s being smart. A lot of people watched that show, and I was dramatic. Dillian is a star in the UK. This is ‘make it or break it’ for Dillian. He knows what’s at stake. I’ve communicated with Dillian, and I know that he knows what’s at stake,” said Lou.
It’s unclear what fight DiBella was watching, but it wasn’t the same one I was. Povetkin was competitive in the first three rounds against Dillian. The only round where Povetkin struggled was in the 4th. Dillian dominated that round, but the other rounds saw a long of good two-way action between the two heavyweights.
Whyte knows what’s on the line in the rematch with Povetkin, and hopefully, he doesn’t start looking for special treatment if he loses.
It would look bad if IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua gives Whyte a title shot in 2021 despite losing twice to Povetkin.
Lou gave Whyte advice for Povetkin rematch
“I told him what he already knew. ‘If you lean in a little bit, you have to watch out for the uppercut, and if you avoid the uppercut, you’re going to beat him in the rematch,'” said DiBella on his advice for the Povetkin rematch.
“It’s not like we’re buddies, but we do communicate a little bit. I am a fan of his. I think he’s been a very hard-working and improving heavyweight over the last couple of years.
I’m looking forward to the fight, and I think it’s a good thing that Matchroom put that on the schedule. I think that’s a fight that boxing fans in the UK want to see.
“Someone that is a hardcore boxing fan like myself, I am looking forward to that card. In the UK, I think Matchroom has the best stable. I think the schedule that Matchroom laid out for the fall is quality.
“I’m a little concerned about the state of boxing in the US, but I knew it was coming. I still think DAZN will be a force in boxing, but I don’t see DAZN putting as much emphasis on America as they did previously.
“I think that’s pretty clear. Businesses have to adapt to their reality and their circumstances, and I think that’s what DAZN is trying to do right now,” said DiBella.
Scheduling the Whyte vs. Povetkin rematch in 2020 was a smart move by Hearn, as it’s going to bring in a lot of buys on Sky Box Office. Hearn can stack the undercard with a lot of his fighters, and it’ll give them excellent visibility.