Povetkin-Whyte rematch moved to March 27

Dillian Whyte’s eagerly anticipated rematch with Alexander Povetkin is heading to Gibraltar on a new date of Saturday March 27, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland.

The British Heavyweight contender was set to face Povetkin on March 6, but travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have meant the fight has been pushed back three weeks.

Brixton’s Whyte will be attempting to avenge his shock knockout defeat to Povetkin last summer, with an announcement on a venue to be made in due course.

Matchroom Sport Managing Director Eddie Hearn said: “In the current environment we are always having to think on our feet. We did everything to try and make March 6 happen, but with the new travel restrictions it was impossible. Now we have something outside the box, compelling, and a unique setting for one of the Heavyweight Fights of the Year – roll on the Rumble on the Rock!”

Potvetkin-Whyte 2, other fights announced by Matchroom Boxing for the early part of 2021

Eddie Hearn and Matchroom announced details of their upcoming UK schedule on Friday following the British Boxing Board of Control’s confirmation earlier this week that Boxing tournaments under its jurisdiction will resume in the middle of February. All of the action will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories, with Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte 2 shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland.
 
Matchroom’s 2021 schedule launches with a bang on Saturday February 13 as Josh Warrington (30-0, 7 KOs) faces Mexico’s Mauricio Lara (21-2, 14 KOs) as he waits for a huge fight later in the year, Manchester Super-Featherweight contender Zelfa Barrett (24-1, 15 KOs) defends his IBF Intercontinental Title against Spain’s former Super-Bantamweight World Champion Kiko Martinez (41-9-2, 29 KOs) in the chief support bout, Nottingham’s Leigh Wood (23-2, 13 KOs) clashes with unbeaten Doncaster man Reece Mould (13-0, 6 KOs) for the vacant British Featherweight Title, fast-rising Sheffield Super-Lightweight talent Dalton Smith (6-0, 5 KOs) takes on Rotherham’s Lee Appleyard (16-5-1, 5 KOs) and Leeds Featherweight Hopey Price (3-0, 1 KO) looks to build on his win over Jonny Phillips at Fight Camp last summer. 
 
Russia’s European Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KOs) makes his long-awaited Title defence against Josh Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KOs) at the top of the bill the following week on Saturday February 20, undefeated Welterweights Florian Marku (7-0-1, 5 KOs) and Rylan Charlton (6-0-1, 3 KOs) meet in what promises to be an explosive ten-round battle, Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (13-1, 10 KOs) returns against Spain’s Jorge Fortea (21-2-1, 7 KOs) following his win over Adam Harper at Fight Camp, Amy Timlin (4-0-1) and Carly Skelly (3-0-1) rematch for the vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Title after their split draw on the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Derek Chisora undercard last October and explosive Romford Heavyweight Johnny Fisher makes his highly anticipated professional debut. 
 
Alexander Povetkin’s (36-2-1, 25 KOs) blockbuster Heavyweight rematch with Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) lands on Saturday March 6, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland, with details of the chief support bout to be announced shortly, Bermondsey’s Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) meets Liverpool’s James Metcalf (21-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant British Super-Welterweight Title, Ipswich Heavyweight talent Fabio Wardley (10-0, 9 KOs) steps-up again against USA’s former World Title challenger Eric Molina (27-6, 19 KOs), Manchester Super-Featherweight Campbell Hatton – son of British fight legend Ricky Hatton – makes his professional debut and Wembley Super-Featherweight Youssef Khoumari ( 11-0-1, 4 KOs) faces Birmingham’s Kane Baker (14-7).
 
Hackney Cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie (15-0, 12 KOs) attempts to become Britain’s next World Champion in just his sixteenth fight when he clashes with Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO crown on Saturday March 20, Northampton’s Chantelle Cameron (13-0, 7 KOs) makes the first defence of her WBC Super-Lightweight Word Title against Puerto Rico’s Melissa Hernandez (23-7-3, 7 KOs), Bournemouth’s Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion Chris Billam-Smith (11-1, 10 KOs) takes on Chelsea’s English Champion Deion Jumah (13-0, 7 KOs) for the vacant British Title, Somali-British prospect Ramla Ali (1-0) steps through the ropes for a second time as a pro and Birmingham’s former Team GB standout Solomon Dacres makes his professional debut. 
 
On Saturday April 10 rising Welterweight star Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Title against Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) following his career-best performance last time out against Sebastian Formella. ‘The Destroyer’ dominated Germany’s Formella over ten rounds, impressively outfighting and outboxing the former IBO World Champion to remain undefeated in the red hot 147lbs division. Vargas has shared the ring with current WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr, two-weight World Champion Danny Garcia and former Unified Super-Lightweight World Champion Amir Khan.

Also on the card, Aldridge’s Rachel Ball (7-1) and Watford’s Shannon Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) rematch with the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title on the line, Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall (9-0, 7 KOs) makes the first defense of her WBO Middleweight World Title after her emphatic win over Hannah Rankin in October, Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Felix Cash (13-0, 9 KOs) fights for the first time since his win over Jason Welborn and Glasgow Bantamweight Kash Farooq (14-1, 6 KOs) returns after his masterclass win over Angel Aviles. 

Povetkin tests positive for COVID-19, fight could be rescheduled in late January

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.

Further details on the November 21 show will follow shortly.

“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.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Whyte on Povetkin: ‘I’m coming to win and knock him out’

Dillian Whyte has an immediate opportunity to exact revenge over Alexander Povetkin on Saturday November 21 as the Heavyweight rivals collide in a blockbuster rematch, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.

Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) was sensationally knocked out by Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) as the Russian viciously halted ‘The Body Snatcher’s’ World Title ambitions in the finale of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex, last month.

Brixton’s Whyte had completely controlled the fight, flooring his opponent twice in the fourth round, but was smashed by a perfect left uppercut 30 seconds into the fifth that ended his hopes in a flash.

The 32-year-old will be hoping to regain his Mandatory position for the WBC Heavyweight World Title by levelling the score with Povetkin in what is the most important fight of his career to date.

“I’ve rested well, spent time with my family, and now that the date of the rematch is known, I will soon return to my training camp and prepare as thoroughly as I did for the first fight,” said Povetkin. “As I said before the first fight and after it too, Dillian Whyte is a good, strong boxer. I will be ready to enter the ring on November 21. I hope it will be another beautiful fight for the fans.”

“I’m over the moon to have the rematch,” said Whyte. “As soon as I got out of the ring, I was looking for confirmation that the fight would be on. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and get back what is rightfully mine. I’m looking to do what I said I would the first time and that’s beat Alexander Povetkin.

“There won’t be any major adjustments, but I just need to be more switched on and not get distracted. He was able to use his experience against me. I will be a lot more focused and sharper in the rematch. I’m coming to win and knock him out. I’m coming to even the score and the only way to do that is by knocking him out.”

Hearn on Povetkin’s KO of Whyte: ‘I felt like I was in some dream’

 In a shocker, Dillian Whyte was knocked out cold by Alexander Povetkin, as the Russian viciously halted his World Title ambitions in the finale of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday.

Whyte had completely controlled the fight, flooring his opponent twice in the fourth round, but was smashed by a left uppercut in the fifth that ended his hopes in a flash.

The 32-year-old would have had a mandatory challenge of Tyson Fury’s WBC Heavyweight Championship finally enforced after a 1000-day wait with a win in Essex, but became the victim of a stunning come-from-behind victory.

This is a big blow for Whyte. He does have a rematch clause and said after the fight he wants the rematch with the 40-year-old Povetkin.

After the fight, Povetkin, Whyte, and Eddie Hearn reacted:

Alexander Povetkin:

On being knocked down twice: “I didn’t feel that I would finish the fight like this. I was pretty confident in the 4th round that, even though I went down twice, it was OK. It wasn’t too much damage.”

On the knockout punch: “I was watching his fights and taking into account that he was missing uppercuts from the left and from the right. During my training, I was training on putting combinations around those shots.” 

On a rematch clause: “First of all, my future plans don’t depend on me, it’s more a question for my promoter and for Eddie Hearn. So we will see what they decide. At the same time, I want to thank Andrei Ryabinski and Eddie Hearn for everything they do for me.” 

On everyone who doubted him: “I don’t have anything to respond to those people. I just want to box more. I want to thank all of the fans who believe in me.”

Whether this was the best punch of his career: “Yes, definitely.”

Dillian Whyte:

Speaking to Eddie Hearn: “Can we get the rematch in December? I’m good, I’m good. It’s just one of those things where it just landed didn’t it. I was bossing it. It is what it is. Rematch. It’s cool, it’s all good. That’s what boxing is about. Cheers Eddie.”

Eddie Hearn:

On Alexander Povetkin’s upset victory: “I felt like I was in some dream. The fight was over, virtually. Povetkin started well, Dillian Whyte was measuring up and had a great finish to the 3rd round. Then he has two heavy knockdowns in the 4th round. I know I felt, and a lot of people felt, that it was over. But this is the drama of the sport that we love. This is the drama of heavyweight boxing – one punch can change everything. And tonight, one punch just completely changed the fight. Dillian Whyte was in total control of the fight, I really felt confident that he was about to end the fight. Was he complacent? Was it just great work from Alexander Povetkin? There’s that uppercut that some believe Whyte is susceptible to and Povetkin slipped right under and delivered it. Unbelievable. It is a shock. We knew how good Povetkin was and we knew how dangerous he was. Dillan Whyte had that fight virtually in the bag but we know how dangerous these elite Heavyweights can be. It was just a thrilling knockout on a thrilling night. I’m pretty much lost for words.” 

On a Whyte-Povetkin rematch: “We have a rematch clause. That was the first thing that Dillian said when he came out, ‘Get me that rematch, get me that rematch.’ It was a heavy knockdown, he’s going to have to take his rest. Povetkin is the mandatory now but he won’t be called. The only person to get called to negotiate with the winner of Fury vs. Wilder was Dillian Whyte. So we will exercise that rematch clause and we will look to make that happen before the end of the year. Listen, it’s a huge fight. It’s a dangerous fight now because obviously back-to-back defeats has a different shade on it. I know he will come back from this. It is crippling for Dillian to lose that number one position but he will be back. I believe he will win the rematch and bring his number one position back to life. This is the best sport in the world. The most dramatic sport in the world. This is what the sport brings us and sometimes it’s brutal.” 

On whether Povetkin’s win makes Joshua vs. Fury easier to arrange: “One of the stumbling blocks was that early in 2021 the mandatory defense against Dillian Whyte. Alexander Povetkin won’t be called as that immediate mandatory even though he sits at number one position. So, yes, that frees up Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua after the Deontay Wilder fight. For me, I wanted Dillian Whyte to get that opportunity. I thought a good win tonight would secure that and I thought he deserved that but he did lose and now he needs to rematch and try to beat Alexander Povetkin.”

Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Whyte: ‘When I’m in shape, you’ve got problems’

Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte(27-0, 18 KOs) will be making his first appearance in the ring in 2020 on Saturday, and after seeing him on the scale today, it appears he is in shape. Whyte weighed in at 252.6 pounds for his upcoming battle with Alexander Povetkin. The last time we saw Whyte, he came in at career-high 271 pounds for his victory over Mariusz Wach back in December.

“I had two fights last year, but my mind wasn’t right,” Whyte said on Thursday. “I put weight on. For my last fight, I was nearly 20 stones(271 pounds). I got myself in shape slowly. I knew who I was fighting and what it would take. I got into shape. The story of my life is pressure. I’ve been under pressure my entire life. This is just another puzzle. There is more pressure because of the future, but that’s in the future…

“When I’m in shape, you’ve got problems, because I can do what I like to do. I don’t mind-blowing up because I can recover, go again. Whatever he wants to do, I’m cool with it. I don’t like to make predictions. He is very experienced and can look after himself. He’s a tough guy. But listen, if I land early? It is night night early. But he can do the same, as well.”

The 32-year-old Whyte wants to inflict a lot of pain on Povetkin and is hoping to hurt him from the opening bell. 

“I’m ready for chaos and violence. I am focused on Povetkin. I will try to hurt him from the first bell. It will be war – that’s what he does. The great thing is that we both do similar things. It’s up to me to do things to make the fight in my favor, and I am capable of that. He is more experienced, but I know how to fight, which isn’t something anyone can teach.”

If Whyte beats Povetkin, he could put himself in position to fight for the WBC heavyweight title. According to the WBC, if Whyte beats Povetkin, he would be in line to fight the winner of Fury-Wilder 3. However, if Fury defeats Wilder, he is expected to fight Anthony Joshua in 2021. According to Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, Fury could drop the title to do the fight with Joshua, instead of fighting Whyte. 

No matter what happens, a win over Povetkin will open a lot of doors for Whyte.

Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Whyte: ‘I’m on to maximum violence, straight animal instinct’

Dillian Whyte will make the first defence of his WBC Interim Heavyweight World Title against Alexander Povetkin at Manchester Arena on Saturday May 2, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Brixton’s Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) landed the WBC Title with a unanimous decision win over Oscar Rivas in an exciting battle at The O2 in London back in July 2019 before travelling to Saudi Arabia in December where he outpointed former World Title challenger Mariusz Wach on the Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 undercard.

Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs), an Olympic gold medallist and former WBA World Champion, proved that he still has what it takes to be a force in the Heavyweight division in 2019 with a win over Hughie Fury in August and a split decision draw with rising Heavyweight contender Michael Hunter in an all-out war in Diriyah.

“This is a great fight, Povetkin is an Olympic gold medallist, has loads of experience, he’s a former World Champion and he’s only lost to Joshua and Klitschko,” said Whyte. “He is still very dangerous, he gave AJ a lot of problems and then beat Hughie Fury. I am not overlooking him at all, he will come in shape, he’s tough and very well-schooled.

“You only have to look at his resume to see that he’s always been considered as one of the most fearsome punchers in the Heavyweight division with big KO wins over Huck, Charr, Takam, Wach and Price. He showed in Saudi Arabia that he still has a lot left in the tank and he is still very dangerous. I’ve got respect for him, but I’m on to maximum violence, straight animal instinct.

“I want to be Heavyweight Champion of the World so anywhere in the world is my lion’s den. If you aspire to be World Champion, you should be able to fight anywhere. Manchester is a great city with great fight fans and I’m looking forward to going back there.”

“I am pleased to fight Whyte, it has long been discussed but didn’t happen for whatever reason,” said Povetkin. “Dillian is a good strong boxer and it will make for an interesting fight. I am not about big announcements, I am about winning in the ring, and on May 2nd people will see a spectacular fight.”

“This is a Heavyweight thriller and so important to the landscape of the division,” said Eddie Hearn. “Dillian Whyte sits as Mandatory Challenger to Tyson Fury and while the wait is frustrating, Dillian continues to take high risk fights and that’s why he is such a fans’ favourite.

“The last time Dillian fought at this arena, we witnessed all time classic against Derek Chisora, We are planning a huge night in Manchester as Dillian Whyte continues to march towards a shot at the Heavyweight World Title.”

“I think all boxing fans can agree that we are up for a great fight,” said Head of World of Boxing Promotions Andrey Ryabinskiy. “Both stylistically and in terms of what’s at stake in this fight makes it a spectacular and anticipated event.

“Of course, we believe in Alexander but have to understand that Dillian Whyte is a tough opponent who’s strong and ambitious, besides he has come a long way to be in a championship fight. Many would wait out for an easier opportunity, but he decided that he needs this fight and it commands respect.”

Dillian Whyte-Mariusz Wach added to Ruiz-Joshua undercard

Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte has landed a spot on the colossal Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Anthony Joshua 2 World title rematch taking place at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on Saturday December 7, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

Whyte will take on Poland’s former World title challenger Mariusz Wach in his first fight back since climbing off the canvas to outpoint Oscar ‘Kaboom’ Rivas in an exciting battle at The O2 in London back in July that saw him move to 26-1 (18 KOs).

Wach (35-5, 19 KOs) was due to face Whyte back in 2017 before ‘The Body Snatcher’ withdrew from their contest with an injured foot, but ‘The Viking’, a former opponent of Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin, will now have the opportunity to lock horns with Whyte following back to back wins in his homeland.

Fellow Brit Tom Little (10-7, 3 KOs) will also be targeting a huge upset on the undercard as he takes on Mahammadrasul Majidov (1-0, 1 KO), the former world amateur champion.

Alexander Povetkin’s explosive encounter with Michael Hunter has already been confirmed, along with Filip Hrgovic’s step-up in class against Eric Molina on an action-packed evening of Heavyweight fights.

The talented young duo of Leeds Super-Bantamweight Hopey Price (1-0) and Los Angeles Super-Middleweight Diego Pacheco (7-0, 6 KOs) will also be eager to impress at Diriyah Arena.

“I’m delighted to be fighting in Saudi Arabia against Mariusz Wach,” said Whyte. “He’s probably got one of the best chins in the Heavyweight division.

“I have been training and working hard to fight so it’s great to get a date and it’s very exciting for me to be fighting somewhere different like Saudi Arabia.

“I want to fight in different places and different settings and this card has the biggest Heavyweight fight on it that we have seen in years.

“I’m just going to keep chasing the World titles, so if I keep winning then I hope to land that World title shot in 2020, that’s the plan for December 7.”

“This wraps up a huge card for what will be a historic night for the sport,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing. “Ten big Heavyweights will descend on Diriyah to cause a shockwave through World boxing as Saudi Arabia hosts one of the biggest Heavyweight fights of all time. Ten days to go!”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Anthony Joshua’s epic rematch night has even more heavyweight fireworks as Dillian Whyte battles Mariusz Wach on a bill which is brimming with big punchers.

“Whyte will be seeking to showcase his power against the battle-hardened Mariusz Wach, while the likeable Tom Little receives a dream fight against Mahammadrasul Majidov, the former world amateur champion.

“Hopey Price and Diego Pacheco are also keen to display their talent on a momentous night for the sport as we build towards Joshua’s spectacular showdown with Ruiz Jr.”

Dillian Whyte-Oscar Rivas set for July 20

Dillian Whyte will face Oscar Rivas for the number one Heavyweight spot in the WBC at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Whyte (25-1 18KOs) holds the number one slot with the WBC and puts that on the line as the hard-hitting ‘Body Snatcher’ continues to blast his path to a World title shot. The Brixton banger put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing Del Boy in the 11th round.

The 31-year-old Briton will be gunning for a tenth straight win against Rivas, with wins over Joseph Parker, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne sandwiched between his two wins over Chisora. Whyte has become a must-watch fighter since rocking old foe Anthony Joshua in their battle at The O2 in December 2012, and yet again takes on a high-risk challenge as he cements his spot as the leading Heavyweight contender in the world.

Rivas (26-0 18KOs) is yet another dangerous customer for Whyte to risk his number one rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas travelled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders, with ‘Kaboom’ ranked at number ten with the WBC, seven in the IBF and a lofty five with both the WBA and WBO.

The Canadian-based 31 year old carried an impressive amateur record into the paid ranks, beating Kubrat Pulev in the 2008 Olympic Games a year after landing silver in the Pan-American games – and with 18 KOs in 26 fights since turning over, July 20 promises to be an explosive war between two in-form big-punchers, with huge stakes on the line.

“I am very happy to be fighting again at The O2 in July,” said Whyte. “Oscar Rivas is undefeated and ranked in the top 10 across the board of all the governing bodies. He has been one of the most avoided heavyweight fighters in the last few years.

“His KO victory over Bryant Jennings sent shockwaves through the division and Tyson Fury just turned down ESPN/Top Rank’s offer to fight him. I am over the moon that he has accepted the fight. He has a great amateur and professional record, including a win over Kubrat Pulev.

“I am more than happy to carry on fighting top 10 fighters like Rivas until I get my well-earned shot at Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.

“I can’t wait until July 20 to fight again at The O2 which is one of the best venues in the world for boxing.”

‘‘I have waited for this opportunity for a very long time,” said Rivas. “Dillian Whyte is an excellent boxer, a World class fighter and the number one contender. He deserve all my respect for his accomplishments and I am grateful for the opportunity he is giving me.

“This is exactly the kind of challenge I was hoping to get. I am undefeated, I am planning to keep my perfect record after July 20 in my quest to get the ultimate opportunity to become World champion.”

“This is a great fight with both men coming off explosive late knockouts,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rivas is undefeated and looking to take Dillian’s number one spot but as we know, The O2 has become a fortress for him of late and this is set to be another war. We are planning a huge night of boxing on July 20 with a monster card topped by the brilliant heavyweight headliner.”

“First I would like to thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who made a proposal impossible to turn down,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “Oscar Rivas was willing to step up and face Anthony Joshua for June in New York and representations were made.

“It might not be his turn now but instead he is extremely happy, to be earning an eventual World title opportunity, by proving he is the best amongst the contenders against the outstanding Dillian Whyte. On July 20 a new star will be born!”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Dillian Whyte is risking it all again as he battles the dangerous Oscar Rivas at The O2, which has become a happy hunting ground for ‘The Body Snatcher.’

“Dillian has already delivered exciting wins over Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora at the same venue, but he could have his hands full against Rivas, the unbeaten Colombian with his own world ambitions.

“Expect another enthralling showdown when Whyte returns in the summer, and we expect to have a stacked card before a sizzling main event.”

Tickets for Whyte vs. Rivas are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300, £500 and £1,000 VIP.

Tickets are available to purchase for O2 Priority customers on Tuesday 23 April at midday via The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and go on sale to Fight Pass members on Wednesday 24 April at midday via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk)