British heavyweight and Bravose favourite Dillian Whyte is set to take on Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin this May.
As mandatory challenger for the WBC belt, it’s not the world title shot that Whyte really wants, but nevertheless he has branded the match up “a great fight”.
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Whyte’s last fight was his victory over Mariusz Wach on 7 December 2019, on the undercard for Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua at Saudi Arabia’s Diryah Arena.
The matchup against Povetkin, which will take place on 2 May 2020, will be held at Manchester Arena, the scene of Whyte’s thrilling 2016 win over Dereck Chisora.
Speaking about the upcoming fight, Whyte said: “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.”
So, what about Whyte’s opponent? Povetkin is a former world champion and Olympic gold medallist, who has been fighting since 2005.
Three of the Russian’s last four fights have been against Brits.
After knocking out David Price at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in March 2018, he was defeated six months later by Anthony Joshua by TKO at Wembley Stadium. Povetkin bounced back with a unanimous decision victory over Hughie Fury at the O2 Arena in August 2019.
Like Whyte, Povetkin’s last outing was also on the undercard for Ruiz Jr vs Joshua. This fight saw him awarded a split decision draw with American Michael Hunter.
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Whyte said of his next opponent: “Povetkin 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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, it seems Povetkin would rather let his fists do the talking. He said: “I am pleased to fight Whyte, it has long been discussed but didn’t happen for whatever reason. 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 2 people will see a spectacular fight.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has praised Whyte for taking on the challenge and has said he believes the fight will be another heavyweight thriller.
“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 an 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.”