Whyte plans to get Gibraltar rocking in Povetkin rematch

By Sports Desk March 25, 2021

Dillian Whyte plans to prove any doubters wrong as he looks to even the score against Alexander Povetkin in a heavyweight rematch taking place in the unlikely location of Gibraltar.

The first meeting between the pair, staged back in August 2020, was eventful to say the least – Povetkin getting knocked down twice in the fourth round before producing a sensational stoppage.

An uppercut in the fifth from the Russian turned the tables and emphatically burst Whyte's best-laid future plans inside the Matchroom bubble, having known a win would secure a shot at the WBC title.

It was just a second career loss for 'The Body Snatcher', who understands he cannot afford a repeat result on Saturday.

"This is the most important fight of my career," Whyte said at a news conference on Thursday.

"I've been through ups and downs throughout my life, I'm used to bouncing back, I'm used to coming back and proving people wrong, showing people what I can do when they've written me off.

"It's nothing. I'm constantly improving, he's a good fighter – top amateur, [Olympic] gold medal winner, world champion, all that.

"But I'm still improving and getting better every day. On Saturday, I'm coming to leave it all on the line once again."

With the ongoing restrictions regarding travel and fans attending events due to the coronavirus pandemic, promoter Eddie Hearn has opted to take the show on the road.

The Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar will stage the second bout, so 500 spectators will be allowed inside the venue for what is being dubbed the 'Rumble on the Rock'.

"It will be good to have the fans," Whyte said. "This fight is as big as any world-title fight.

"This place will be jumping; it will be rocking."

Povetkin, who has also only lost twice in his career in the pros, is reading nothing into what happened in the previous meeting, knowing only too well the damage Whyte can do.

"I'm very happy to be in this unusual place. I'm relaxed and confident," he said.

"I think Dillian will be better in this second fight, but at the same time I will try to pay more attention to my defence. Forget the story of the first fight."

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  • Fury v Whyte confirmed after Warren wins record purse bid Fury v Whyte confirmed after Warren wins record purse bid

    Tyson Fury's WBC heavyweight title defence against Dillian Whyte will finally take place after Frank Warren's Queensbury Promotions won the purse bid to stage the fight.

    Warren's record bid of £31million gazumped the £24m being offered by Whyte's Matchroom promoters, giving Fury's team control of the all-British showdown in a fight that must take place by April 24.

    Fury will now pocket £24m to Whyte's £6m, though the latter may earn a larger share should his appeal to the WBC for a larger proportion be successful.

    A tweet from WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman read: "This is the coin flipped to determine the opening of the bids $32,222,222 by @MatchroomBoxing $41,025,000 by Queensberry Promotions. This is the biggest purse bid in the history of boxing. Congratulations #FuryWhyte @WBCBoxing Heavyweight championship @Tyson_Fury @DillianWhyte."

    Warren added via a statement: "Queensberry and Top Rank are delighted that WBC and lineal world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will defend his titles against Dillian Whyte following today's purse bids.

    "A venue and date for the fight will be announced in due course."

    Whyte has long since been the WBC's top-ranked contender but has had to remain patient for his first crack at a world title.

    Fury's camp had been negotiating with Anthony Joshua to take a step-aside payment for his planned rematch with unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk in order to fight the Ukrainian in an undisputed heavyweight championship fight.

    However, those talks broke down this week meaning Fury will instead focus on mandatory challenger Whyte, while Joshua is now expected to get his shot at winning back the WBA Super, IBF and WBO straps from Usyk. 

    Each of Fury's past five fights have taken place in the United States, with three of those coming against Deontay Wilder who he displaced as WBC champion.

    Cardiff's Principality Stadium and the Manchester Arena are among the venues tipped to host the fight, with Fury writing on Twitter: "BIG GK IS COMING HOME! UK BABY!"

  • Fury appears to confirm Whyte fight after Hearn claims he doesn't want Usyk bout Fury appears to confirm Whyte fight after Hearn claims he doesn't want Usyk bout

    Tyson Fury has seemingly confirmed Dillian Whyte will be his next opponent after Eddie Hearn claimed the WBC heavyweight champion does not want to face Oleksandr Usyk.

    Whyte is the mandatory challenger for Fury's world title, but the WBC this week granted a 48-hour extension for the two parties to negotiate a deal for a fight.

    Purse bids for that all-British bout are now set to go in on Friday.

    It was reported by The Telegraph that Anthony Joshua was prepared to step aside from a rematch with Usyk in order for Fury to do battle with the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO champion in a unification fight.

    Joshua, who was dethroned by the Ukrainian last September, dismissed those claims and Fury appeared to clear up all the uncertainty on Thursday.

    The 33-year-old tweeted: "Who else can't wait for the fight. The best of Britain."

    Fury had earlier mocked Joshua and his promoter Hearn for supposedly rejecting a huge offer to step aside from a rematch with Usyk.

    "Had to do this video. Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua have to be the worst damn businessmen in history! Today they lost $90m, goddamn sons of b****es, crazy!" he posted on social media.

    Yet Hearn, also Whyte's promoter, says Fury is not prepared to fight Usyk next.

    "There are four people in this mix – Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua – and everybody has to be on board with the same proposal," Hearn told BBC 5 Live.

    "Ultimately it's Tyson Fury who doesn't want to fight Oleksandr Usyk next in an undisputed fight, he wants to have an interim fight in March. There's no conversation to be had.

    "As we stand here right now, Dillian Whyte against Tyson Fury will go to purse bids tomorrow [Friday] in Mexico City."

    Hearn, however, knows nothing is set in stone.

    "They're never over, up until those envelopes are open," he added.

    "But there's no real negotiations for Fury against Whyte outside of purse bids. It would take Tyson Fury probably to say, 'Yeah, okay, look, maybe I'll fight Usyk', but you never know what he's going to do.

    "Right now this morning he wants to fight Dillian Whyte. He hasn't really mentioned that before but right now that's what we're doing. We'll be ready to bid tomorrow."

  • Fury tells Whyte to 'step up and take your beating' after negotiation deadline is extended Fury tells Whyte to 'step up and take your beating' after negotiation deadline is extended

    Tyson Fury has told Dillian Whyte to "step up and take your beating" after an extension was granted for the two fighters' camps to agree on the terms of a bout.

    Fury and Whyte were permitted an additional 48 hours by the World Boxing Council (WBC) to negotiate their fight before purse bids are made.

    The deadline had been 6pm on Wednesday but has now been pushed back two days, though the WBC confirmed that it would be the final extension.

    A statement posted on the WBC's website said: "The World Boxing Council has received once again requests from the teams of Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte, to extend the period of free negotiations.

    "The WBC has granted this final extension and If there is no agreement, a purse bid will be held this coming Friday, January 28."

    Whyte is the mandatory challenger for Fury's WBC heavyweight title but is currently in arbitration with the governing body.

    After the announcement of the extension, Fury took to Twitter to say: "Time to step up and take your beating."

    Fury's camp had previously made it known they wanted Anthony Joshua to step aside from his planned rematch with Oleksandr Usyk after the latter's triumph in September, which would allow the WBC champion to go up against the Ukrainian in a unification bout.

    The Telegraph reported that Joshua had agreed to forego the rematch for a fee of £15million, though the former world champion denied claims a deal had been struck.

    In a video posted to his official social media channels on Tuesday, Fury made it clear that he had had enough of waiting, saying: "Tick tick tock. The time has run out of the bottle. You're all getting a good hiding – cowards."

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