Alexander Povetkin v Dillian Whyte II: Revenge on the rock for the 'Body Snatcher'?

By Sports Desk March 26, 2021

When Dillian Whyte stepped into the ring with Alexander Povetkin last August he had his route to WBC title glory all mapped out.

But a crushing fifth-round uppercut sent him on a diversion that few would have envisaged, packing his bags for a small British overseas territory and a rematch with huge ramifications for his career.

A win on Saturday would silence the doubters and put Whyte firmly back on track, but the fall that a repeat performance would bring is likely to be more precipitous than the drop from the famous Rock of Gibraltar, which stands proudly just a few short miles from where the fight will take place.

Whyte was left to nurse his wounds, both physical and emotional, after a second career loss when the first fight had seemed to be going his way.

Not once but twice he put Povetkin down in the fourth round, only for the Russian to climb to his feet and seal the deal in the next thanks to a colossal uppercut.

And now 'The Body Snatcher' knows he is laying it all on the line this weekend, describing a bout nominally for the WBC 'interim' title as "the most important fight of my career".

The unexpected location is the result of some creative thinking from promoter Eddie Hearn amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the Europa Point Sports Complex able to host 500 spectators for the 'Rumble on the Rock'.

Whyte is the bookmakers' firm favourite, as he was in the first meeting, but painting Povetkin as an underdog who produced a lucky shot would be a long way wide of the mark.

The experienced campaigner will expect to have to soak up some pressure and wait for his moment, but he showed in brutal fashion last time out that he is capable of doing just that.


It was a thrilling heavyweight clash between the pair in the Matchroom bubble seven months ago, when Anthony Joshua was watching on as a pundit.

Whyte had lost almost a stone and a half since his previous bout with Mariusz Wach, looking sharp in the early stages as he landed the jab frequently.

He refused to let up and had Povetkin downed with a brilliant punch early in round four, yet the veteran fighter was quickly back to his feet.

The assault continued and Povetkin was dropped again in the closing stages of the same round by a venomous left uppercut.

Yet, in a stunning turnaround, the fight was ended by one huge Povetkin blow moments into the fifth.


Age: 32
Height: 6ft 4ins (193cm) 
Weight: 247.2 lbs
Reach: 78ins  
Professional record: 27-2-0 (18 KOs) 

Age: 41
Height: 6ft 2ins (188cm) 
Weight: 228 ¼ lbs
Reach: 75ins  
Professional record: 36-2-1 (25 KOs) 


Ted Cheeseman takes on JJ Metcalf for the British super-welterweight belt, while Fabio Wardley and Eric Molina meet in an intriguing heavyweight clash.

Ricky Hatton's son Campbell makes his professional debut, the 19-year-old taking on Jesus Ruiz in a super-featherweight contest.


Whyte is in no doubt as to the quality of his opponent but he is ready to go all-out in pursuit of glory: "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."

It was a slightly more relaxed tone adopted by Povetkin, who reflected on the location: "I'm very happy to be in this unusual place. I'm relaxed and confident."

Related items

  • 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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