On August 20, 2020, two of boxing’s top heavyweights collided and put on a show few will ever forget. Moscow’s Alexander Povetkin and Britain’s Dillian Whyte rematch has been one of the most anticipated of this year, and it kicked it off to a good start.
With both Alexander Povetkin (35–2–1, 24 KOs) and Dillian Whyte (27–1–0, 18 KOs) entering the fight with noteworthy records, expectations were high for this match. Not too long before the fight, Dillian Whyte parted ways with his trainer Mark Tibbs, which raised questions of whether the bout would be rescheduled. However, the fight went on as planned, and the two fighters met at the Matchroom Sport Headquarters in Brentwood, England.
Povetkin, despite losing the first four rounds and being knocked down twice by Whyte, kept his poise. During the fifth round, Povetkin delivered a brutal uppercut to Whyte, knocking the superstar out cold. The referee waved the fight and Povetkin secured the WBC interim and the inaugural WBC Diamond titles. Although Povetkin won in a flashy fashion, many believed that his win was a fluke. With Povetkin being ranked the #5 title contender and losing the first four rounds prior to his knockout hit, it is understood why many believe it was the fighters’ luck that led to his win.
Pre-fight Whyte was the number one heavyweight contender setto take on WBC Champ Tyson Fury, but those aspirations were demolished after the upsetting defeat to Povetkin. After the fight, Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn spoke about the loss.
“We have a rematch clause. First thing Dillian said when he came out was, ‘Get me that rematch, get me that rematch’...And listen, it’s a huge fight. it’s a very dangerous fight now because obviously, back-to-back defeats for Dillian Whyte throws a very different shade on it”.
Whyte also added a comment in a post-fight interview.
“Exactly. It is what it is, rematch, it’s cool, it’s all good. That’s what heavyweight boxing’s about. Thanks Eddie.”
Shortly after the fight, a Povetkin-Whyte rematch was confirmed for November 21, 2020. This rematch date was unable to come into fruition due to Povetkin being hospitalized with Covid-19. Despite the setback, Eddie Hearn reassured boxing fans that the rematch is still confirmed.
Covid-19 restrictions have been the main barrier to why the fight hasn’t been put into action. In a recent interview hearn stated,
“If we can’t do that in the UK, we will run that schedule for UK fans from another country with another commission, which is not good news for the BBBofC.” But they have to make the right decisions that they feel are in line with the doctor’s decisions. I don’t knock that, but we can’t wait until the end of January to see if boxing in February will be allowed to go ahead.”
Although a set venue or date hasn’t been confirmed, Eddie Hearn has made it clear that we will be seeing a 2021 heavyweight headliner rematch between Povetkin and Whyte.