Dillian Whyte's wait for a world title shot continues, so can he claim the WBC interim heavyweight belt and cement his status as the most overlooked fighter in the division when he shares the ring with former world champion Alexander Povetkin at Eddie Hearn's 'Fight Camp' on August 22.
Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin Predictions & Tips
Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin Predictions & Tips: What Is Fight Camp?
With fans still unable to pack into arenas to watch big fights, boxing has had to find a new approach and Matchroom believe they have the perfect idea to get the sport up and running again despite the current restrictions. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has moved events to its APEX facility in Las Vegas and Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, and Matchroom Boxing is now taking a similar approach with ‘Fight Camp’.
‘Fight Camp’ will be run out of Hearn’s back garden… really! Hearn owns a 15-acre piece of land in Brentwood, Essex that will play host to a purpose-built setting to host live fights that can be aired live on television. Four events are scheduled for August, with the headline event coming on August 22 when Dillian Whyte shares the ring with Alexander Povetkin.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) June 26, 2020
Road To Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin
The fact that Dillian Whyte still has not fought for a world heavyweight title is, quite frankly, scandalous. The 31-year-old has been on a tear since suffering the sole defeat of his career so far, a seventh round stoppage loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2015, and during this 11-fight win streak he has dispatched former world champions, ex-world title contenders and a man who, like him, has seemingly been avoided like the plague by those at the very top of the heavyweight division. So what has this earned Whyte? Nothing as of yet.
A six-round demolition of Lucas Browne did not secure a crack at then WBC champion Deontay Wilder, neither did a well-deserved decision win over former WBO champion Joseph Parker a few months later. He rounded out the year with a stoppage win over Dereck Chisora that was more about keeping busy and settling an old score than stepping up his calls for a title shot, but when he returned to action in mid-2019 he signed on to face the tough and dangerous Oscar Rivas. This was an incredibly risky fight for a number one contender to take, but Whyte signed on the dotted line with the interim WBC belt being the prize and he came out victorious despite being dropped in the ninth.
Controversy quickly followed as ‘The Body Snatcher’ was stripped of his newly-acquired hardware and suspended due to an inconclusive drug test result, but after being forced to sit on the sidelines for several months he was finally cleared to return to action before the end of the year.
To knock off some of the rust he quickly agreed to fight on the Ruiz Jr-Joshua 2 undercard in Saudi Arabia and although he got the nod from the judges, it was an underwhelming performance from an overweight Whyte who clearly needed more time to get back into ring shape. He got the job done though to keep his win streak alive, and now he faces a much sterner test as he attempts to finally secure a shot at one of the world heavyweight champions. Can he pass this test?
Next up for Whyte is former world champion Alexander Povetkin, a vastly experienced fighter who will be stepping inside the professional boxing ring for a 39th time. ‘The White Lion’ has been a major player in the heavyweight division for a decade now and has tasted defeat on only two occasions – a unanimous decision loss to the legendary Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013 and a seventh-round stoppage defeat to Anthony Joshua as recently as September 2018. It would not be unfair to say that he is on the downturn of his career at the ripe old age of 40 though.
His last stoppage win came at the expense of a glass-jawed David Price two years ago and since that night he has gone 1-1-1, getting knocked out by Joshua before out-pointing Hughie Fury and then drawing, somewhat controversially, with Michael Hunter last December. Many felt Povetkin was bailed out by the judges in Saudi Arabia, so can he leave no doubts this time to destroy Dillian Whyte’s world title dream, or will the long-time number one contender claim the interim WBC belt and stay at the front of the queue for a crack at Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder after they meet for a third time this summer?
This fight was originally scheduled for May 2 in Manchester, only to be postponed due to current events, but promoter Eddie Hearn revealed in June that he could soon have an answer to those questions, suggesting Whyte v Povetkin could be one of the first ‘behind closed door’ boxing events of 2020.
“When Whyte knocks out Povetkin, stands on the turnbuckle and there’s six people watching, it will be weird,” promoter Hearn told BBC Sport. “But I want people to tune in and say ‘wow’.
“When Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline is playing and you open the curtain and see 20,000 people screaming, it’s quite easy to peak if you’re a good fighter. But doing that behind closed doors is going to be a different kind of challenge.
“I want to build a fight camp, a different kind of environment, more dramatic. It will look spectacular on TV. We need to dramatise it. It’s about taking over a hotel, testing all the teams, creating a sterile fight camp where no-one goes in until we know they’ve had a negative test. It’s about creating changing room areas, ring walks. It will add to the story.”
Hearn’s ‘behind closed door’s plan come to fruition with the launch of ‘Fight Camp’. So will Whyte stay at the front of the queue for a world heavyweight title fight either later this year or in the first half of 2021? Or will Povetkin derail his quest with a shock victory? Read on for our free Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin predictions and tips for August 22…
Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin Predictions & Tips
Like I said before, it is absolutely ridiculous that Whyte is still waiting for a title shot, especially after Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder took over a year to finally have their rematch. In that time ‘The Body Snatcher’ should have got his shot – no excuses. Yet here he is still waiting and here is fighting a good calibre of opposition as he waits. Yes he looked sluggish and overweight as he laboured to a win over Mariusz Wach last December, but I am reading very little into that because he took the fight on short notice and had been out of action for several months and had passed some of the time appearing on Celebrity Masterchef! We should see the real Dillian Whyte here – but will that be enough?
Povetkin is an experienced operator with skill and power, and he will be at his most dangerous during the early rounds of this contest. However, he tends to run out of steam pretty quickly before gaining his second wind late on, and that is where Whyte can capitalise. ‘The Body Snatcher’ will live up to his moniker by pounding away at his aging opponent’s body, sapping his gas tank, and as he controls the fight he will put away the rounds on the judges’ scorecards to get himself ahead. Whyte has a knack for fading during the last couple of rounds and that should present an opportunity for a late flurry from Povetkin, but long-time number one contender will avoid any last-gasp drama to get the nod from the judges and claim the interim WBC belt. They maybe he will finally get the title fight he has deserved for so long!
Whyte v Povetkin Tips: Fighter Predictions
Dillian Whyte: “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. 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. 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.”
Alexander Povetkin: “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… people will see a spectacular fight.”