By: Sean Crose
“Unfortunately,” promoter Eddie Hearn tweeted on Tuesday, “we got the news today that Alexander Povetkin is in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. The fight will now be rescheduled to a target date of Jan 30. An announcement on our Nov 21 show will be made shortly.” And with that, the rematch between Povetkin and Dillian Whyte was pushed back until the new year, provided of course that Povetkin’s health improves. Aside from concern over the 41 year old Povetkin’s well being, focus may now turn towards a match between the 32 year old Whyte and WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury.
“Dillian Whyte v Tyson Fury anyone?” Hearn tweeted. Fury, who bested Deontay Wilder in stunning fashion in a rematch of their 2018 battle earlier this year, has made it clear he wishes to fight in England on December 5th. No opponent has yet to be announced. Fury was contractually required to face Wilder for a third time, but it was reported that a deal for Fury-Wilder 3 was not made before the legal obligation for a third match expired. Fury, then is presumably free to choose any opponent he likes. At the moment Carlos Takam has been mentioned as a possible foil for Fury.
Talk of Whyte fighting Fury aside, Povetkin’s manager, Andrey Ryabinskiy, is expecting the second Povetkin-Whyte battle to go down as soon as possible. “Povetkin fell ill with a coronavirus infection and is now under the supervision of doctors in one of the Moscow clinics, taking care of his health,” Sky Sports quotes Ryabinskiy as saying. “There is no talk about changing the opponent at the moment. Povetkin will box with Whyte”. As for his fighter’s health, Ryabinskiy claimed “there are no critical complications” for Povetkin, who is currently dealing with a fever.
The first match between Povetkin and Whyte was nothing if not memorable. Meeting at England’s Matchroom Fight Camp last summer, Whyte, who has long been waiting for a shot at a world title, looked quite impressive. He even dropped Povetkin on two occasions. A knockout of the year candidate blow from Povetkin in the fifth, however, ended the night for the London based fighter. With their first battle having been such an entertaining affair, fans are presumably eager for a rematch. Both fighters are well respected vets with just two losses apiece on their resumes. Each man has been stopped by current heavyweight multi-titlist Anthony Joshua.