Povetkin vs. Whyte: Is Dillian making a mistake taking rematch in November?

By Boxing News - 09/18/2020 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) could be on the cusp of retirement when he faces interim WBC heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) in a rematch in two months from now on November 21 in England.

Whyte’s pride is the rationale behind him choosing to rush headlong into an immediate rematch with the 41-year-old Povetkin, even though it makes zero sense for him to be taking this risk.

The 2004 Olympic gold medalist knocked out Whyte in the 4th round on August 22 in a shocking stoppage at Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex. It wasn’t just a simple KO.

Whyte was knocked unconscious by a left uppercut in the 5th round by the still-powerful former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin.

The Body Snatcher following in David Price’s footsteps

Despite the problematic aspect of the knockout, Whyte, 32, is being permitted by his promoters at Matchroom Boxing to jump back in with Povetkin just three months after the defeat. It’s one of those types of risks that could lead to Whyte’s career doing down the drain.

Image: Povetkin vs. Whyte: Is Dillian making a mistake taking rematch in November?

It’s similar to how David Price was put back in with Tony Thompson in July 2013 after being knocked out by him in the second round in their first fight in February 2013.

Instead of Price’s management giving him a few tune-ups to get his confidence back and to make sure he’s fine, a rematch was set up with Thompson in July of 2013.

The result of that fight saw Thompson walk down Price and knock him out in the 5th round. Price’s once-promising career has never been the same since that second defeat to Thompson.

Dillian will need to be rebuilt

Charles Brun hates to say it, but it sure looks like Whyte is on the verge of becoming David Price 2.0. It’s such a pity. Dillin was so close to getting a world title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, and now he’s about to be retired by Povetkin on November 21.

Whyte probably won’t retire if he’s knocked out once again by Povetkin, but his career will be in chaos. Forget about pay-per-view for Whyte on Sky Box Office after that because that won’t happen.

It’s safe to say that the British boxing fans probably won’t want to pay their hard-earned money to see Whyte fight after he’s knocked out by Alexander a second time.

Hearn will need to rebuild Whyte with fights against domestic level heavyweights like Dave Allen after he loses to Povetkin again, and fans aren’t going to want to pay to see those types of contests.

YouTube video

Whyte on the cusp of retirement

“Listen, I’m a big fan of Povetkin. When he was fighting Anthony Joshua, I knew how much of a threat he was going to be to Anthony Joshua,” said Mora to DAZN. “And you mentioned all his accolades, and he’s doing this at 41-years-old.

“I applaud Alexander Povetkin, but I am not applauding Dillian Whyte’s team for taking this immediate rematch. When a fighter gets knocked cold like that, he needs to get his bearings back.

“He can’t go in there. He’s going to be shell-shocked, he’s going to be gunshy. And he doesn’t know how he’s going to respond to the first big punch.

“I don’t like it, but they don’t have no choice. He was on the cusp of a world championship, and now he’s on the cusp of retiring if he loses one more time, especially if he gets knocked out.

That’s the beauty of boxing, but that’s also the curse of boxing.”

“So it’s Whyte and Povetkin again in just a month and a half,” said Grisham.

Again, Whyte won’t retire if he loses to Povetkin a second time by knockout, but his career will be over for all intents and purposes. Hearn has already said what he plans on doing with Whyte if he gets knocked out by Povetkin in the rematch.

Whyte might be able to pull things together by transforming himself into another Dereck Chisora type of fringe level contender, who would be the B-side against fighters like Oleksandr Usyk and Flip Hrgovic. But that’s a far cry from what Dillian wanted to do in dreaming of challenging WBC champ Tyson Fury for his strap in 2021

Image: Povetkin vs. Whyte: Is Dillian making a mistake taking rematch in November?

Dillian vs. Povetkin 2 on Nov.14th or 21st

“It looks like Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte will face off again this year. Eddie Hearn said to expect the two heavyweights to face off either November 14th or 21st. What do you expect to happen in the rematch?” said Todd Grisham to DAZN.

“It’s too soon. Dillian Whyte got knocked out cold,” said Sergio Mora. “First of all, let me start here. Only great fighters come back from knockouts like that; knockout of the year type. He was out cold. Whyte was out cold by that left uppercut from Povetkin.”

“That’s one. Two, we haven’t seen Dillian Whyte perform on the championship level,” Mora said. “He’s yet to win a championship. He’s an excellent contender.”

What many boxing fans believe Dillian needs is a good six to eight months off to recover from his knockout slowly. Going into an immediate rematch with Povetkin after only three months is asking for trouble.

On the one hand, Whyte will have an excuse to give to people if he gets smashed to bits by Povetkin again by blaming the defeat on him not being fully recovered, but on the other hand, he’ll still be seen as a shot fighter.

Image: Povetkin vs. Whyte: Is Dillian making a mistake taking rematch in November?

Whyte needs a tune-up


“Alexander Povetkin, he’s an Olympian, he’s a championship-caliber fighter, and even at 41, he’s still dangerous. I don’t like this quick turn about for Whyte. That’s simply the pride of every fighter,” said Mora.

“It’s up to Whyte’s management and promoter [Eddie Hearn] to give him a fight in between, but that’s the pride of a fighter. I just don’t see it. Alexander Povetkin by late stoppage.”

“Can we give Alexander Povetkin some credit? Obviously, his whole career is going to have that asterisk because of PEDs,” said Grisham. “However, this guy is about to face off in his fourth fight in 13 months when most heavyweights are lucky to get out twice a year.

“This is a guy who has only been stopped one time, and that was by Anthony Joshua. This guy is game; he’s a fighter. You never hear about him having contract disputes and holdouts. Eddie Hearn has praised this guy. Alexander Povetkin is a real pro’s pro, a true fighter.

Eddie wants to match Dillian against Daniel Dubois in 2021 and hope to beat the young 23-year-old force of nature. In other words, it’s another insane gamble on Hearn’s part in putting Whyte in with someone that he has no business fighting.

In effect, Hearn would be pushing the nuclear button by matching Whyte with Dubois after a second defeat to Povetkin.

Yeah, if it works for Dillian, then it’s great. Whyte’s career would be almost where it was before he met up with Povetkin, but the chances for success for Dillian would be so incredibly slim that the fight wouldn’t be worth taking.

Image: Povetkin vs. Whyte: Is Dillian making a mistake taking rematch in November?

“My hats off to him, win or lose. This is the kind of guy that fighters should be looking at right now,” said Grisham about Povetkin. “This guy doesn’t give a flying; you know what. He wants to go in there and fight, and that’s why he’s had the career he’s had.”