Eddie Hearn: ‘Dillian Whyte loss is unthinkable’

By Boxing News - 03/26/2021 - Comments

By Matt Lieberman: Eddie Hearn sees a loss for Dillian Whyte on Saturday against Alexander Povetkin being “unthinkable” and catastrophic for his world title ambitions.

Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) would be put at the back of the line for a world title shot if he gets knocked out by Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) on Saturday in their rematch at Gibraltar.

While there would still be an outside chance that the 32-year-old Whyte could eventually work his way into a position to fight for a world title again, it would take years.

Whyte wants to be able to fight heavyweight world champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury as early as next year, but that won’t happen if Povetkin beats him a second time.

Eddie Hearn looked nervous today at the weigh-in, knowing that if Whyte loses this fight, he can forget about his title shot.

Whyte’s world title ambitions could be crushed

“It crushes them,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social when asked what happens to Whyte’s world title aspirations if he loses to Povetkin.

Image: Eddie Hearn: 'Dillian Whyte loss is unthinkable'

“Dillian is always going to be exciting and in big fights, but in terms of getting in that queue for a world title, a defeat here would put him right to the back of that.

“So it’s unthinkable for Dillian Whyte to lose in terms of his world championship ambitions, but people keep saying, ‘What’s next?’ Just Saturday night.

“It’s so important, it’s so big, he [Whyte] must win on Saturday. By far,” said Hearn when asked if this is the ‘biggest fight of Whyte’s career.’ It’s the biggest fight of his career, he has to win this fight.

“The rematch has probably come at the time that you’d expect the rematch to happen. It’s just that it was originally planned for November, which was a really fast turnaround that a lot of people felt was too early for Dillian Whyte.

“So we’ll have to see. I think it’ll probably suit both guys,” said Hearn. “Povetkin was ill last year obviously, so he’d had time to recover to 100%.

“Dillian has had a chance to, whether he thinks he needed it or not, to refocus and reevaluate himself after the knockout defeat.

“Everyone is 100%, everyone is ready to go, and both teams are extremely confident. Dillian is a little bit edgy, as you would expect because it’s an absolute must-win.

“It’s going to be such a dramatic fight, anything can happen in this fight at any moment. Both guys with the power to take each other out with one shot,” Hearn said.

Whyte has worked so hard and so long for a shot at a world title, which is going to make it tough on him. He’s been pushing for a world title shot for ages, and he can’t afford to get beaten again.

You can say that Whyte was lucky to be getting a rematch with Povetkin after losing last August.

Hearn predicts Povetkin vs. Whyte 2 ends early

“Yeah, for sure,” said Hearn when asked if he believes that Povetkin was truly ill with COVID 19.

Image: Eddie Hearn: 'Dillian Whyte loss is unthinkable'

“I know Andrey Rybinsky, I know the World of Boxing team well. I’ve seen pictures of him [Povetkin] getting treatment. This was back in October.

“I know the fight was originally scheduled for January the 30th. They just felt that he wasn’t going to be 100% for January 30th, so the doctor said, ‘Look, we think he should resume treatment.’

“These guys do things properly, World of Boxing, Andrey Rubinsky, Povetkin. They’re desperate to win this fight. They want him to be 100%, and they got their wish.

“Dillian Whyte probably doesn’t trust a lot of people, so he thinks it was just to delay the fight. I don’t believe so, but it’s irrelevant because on Saturday they do battle.

“They would never take the fight, they would never accept the fight, they would never let him go back to full training if he wasn’t 100%.

“I know people have been sparring Povetkin, they’ve been doing many, many rounds. It’s irrelevant in this fight.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think this goes more than eight rounds anyway. So I think somebody is getting cleaned out,” said Hearn.

The way that Povetkin and Whyte both punch, this fight likely won’t go more than four rounds.

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Both fighters look like they’re ready to go to war, and with the power that they both possess, they’re not going to last long once the bombs start getting thrown.

Povetkin vs. Whyte 2 – How to watch

Boxing fans can watch Saturday’s March 27th rematch between Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte on DAZN in the United States, and Sky Box Office in the UK.

This is a huge, huge fight for both heavyweights, as Eddie Hearn quite correctly points out.

The winner of the fight stays in the queue for a world title shot against the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury victory, while the loser will need to go back into the rebuilding stage.

Povetkin vs. Whyte 2 undercard

  • Heavyweight prospect Fabio Wardley (10-0, 9 KOs) battles former two-time world title challenger Eric Molina (27-6, 16 KOs) in a 10-round fight. the 38-year-old Molina has already come up short in defeats against Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Whyte, and Filip Hrgovic. Those guys are obviously on another level as Wardley, so it’s going to be interesting to see how well Molina is able to do against the 26-year-old.
  • IBF International junior middleweight Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) faces unbeaten James Metcalf (21-0, 13 KOs) in a 12 round fight. Cheeseman weighed in at 153.75 lbs to Metcalf’s 154 on Friday.
  • Making his pro debut, super featherweight Campbell Hatton will be facing winless journeyman Jesus Ruiz (0-10) in a four-round fight. Campbell is the son of former two-division world champion Ricky Hatton. Campbell weighed in at 137 lbs, while Ruiz came in at 136.5 lbs. Obviously, both guys are a bit over the super featherweight limit of 130 lbs.
  • Unbeaten WBO Global welterweight champion Chris Kongo (12-0, 7 KOs) defends against Michael McKinson (19-0, 2 KOs) in a 10 round fight. Kongo weighed in at 146.75 lbs, while McKinson came in at 146.25 lbs.
  • Heavyweight Erik Pfeifer (7-0, 5 KOs) battles Nick Webb (16-2, 12 KOs) for the vacant IBO International heavyweight title in a 10 round fight. The German Pfeifer weighed 246 lbs on Friday, while Webb came in at 262 lbs.
  • Super featherweight prospect Youssef Khoumari (11-0-1, 4 KOs) takes on Kane Baker (14-7) in a 10 round fight. Khoumari weighed in at 130-lbs to Baker’s 128.5.

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