By Charles Brun: Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte got some bad news on Tuesday with his opponent Alexander Povetkin testing positive for COVID 19, which has forced him to pull out of their fight this month on November 21st.
Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing says they’ll be rescheduling the rematch with former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin for January 30th. As soon as they get a better idea of Povetkin’s condition, they’ll be able to decide n a date.
Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) and Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) had been scheduled to meet in a rematch at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
Povetkin shocked the world last summer in knocking out the heavy favorite Whyte, 32, in the fifth round in their fight at the Matchroom headquarters in Essex.
Whyte has been stubborn about admitting that he was beaten by the better man, as he’s continually blamed his defeat on a ‘small mistake’ that he made. Povetkin had been lining Whyte up for the uppercut the entire fight, and he finally he able to catch him with it.
Whyte dodges a bullet
Povetkin’s positive test or COVID 19 may have temporarily saved Whyte from a career implosion. Whyte is going to have to make a lot of changes to his game to keep from having Povetkin pull a repeat, and it’s unclear where he can.
Whyte is set in his ways at 32, and he doesn’t seem to be learning anything from fight to fight. In other words, all the mistakes that Whyte makes in his fights, he drags them to his next match without fixing the problem.
The smart fighters work on their flaws and learn. Whyte doesn’t do that, which is why he’s not a world champion and likely never will be.
Here’s the part of the press release from Matchroom Boxing:
Alexander Povetkin has been forced to withdraw from his Saturday, November 21 contest with Dillian Whyte due to testing positive for COVID-19.
The pair were due to rematch at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Sky Sports Box Office but will now face each other on a later date to be confirmed soon.
“Firstly we want to wish Alexander Povetkin a speedy recovery,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “This is a challenging time for shows.
There will be lots of ups and downs over the next few months. We look forward to the fight happening in late January.”
Dillian will need to wait until January
It’s too bad Hearn can’t salvage the November 21st date by finding a replacement opponent for Whyte to fight. With Povetkin out with an illness, Dillian will need to wait patiently until January before he can face him.
That’s got to be tough for Whyte, as he’ll have the memory of his knockout loss dancing around his head for another two months before he gets a chance to erase them in January.
Former Matchroom Boxing stable heavyweight Michael Hunter would likely be agreeable to stepping in on less than three weeks notice if Hearn waved some green under his nose.
Hunter might be too risky of a fight for Whyte to take at this juncture, and it’s unlikely that Hearn would even consider using him for a second. Dave Allen would be a good opponent for Whyte to fight.
Allen just had his fight last week against Chris Lovejoy fall apart after it was learned that the American was still under a promotional contract with Don King. Allen could use a fight right now.