By Tim Royner: Alexander Povetkin wants to face the winner of this Saturday’s rematch between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora in 2019, according to Sky Sports. Former WBA World heavyweight champion Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) is coming off of a 7th round knockout loss to Anthony Joshua on September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London, UK, but he’s now said to be looking to another go round against a British fighter by battling the winner of Whyte-Chisora 2 if he can get that fight.
Povetkin just turned 39-years-old last September, and he wants to keep moving forward with his career with interesting matches. In an impressive display, Povetkin knocked out former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price in the 5th round earlier this year on March 31 on the undercard of Joshua vs. Joseph Parker in Cardiff, Wales. If Povetkin gets his way, he’ll be fighting his third straight British heavyweight in the winner of the Whyte-Chisora 2 contest.
Povetkin will be back in action in March or April, potentially in Russia, UK or the United States. A fight between Povetkin and the Whyte-Chisora 2 winner would need to take place in Russia or the UK. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t likely sell in the United States due to Povetkin, Chisora and Whyte not being known by most boxing fans in that country.
Povetkin is a possibility for the undercard on April 13, which could see IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua defending his title against the likes of Whyte or Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller. It’s still unclear at this point about the headliner for the April 13 card at Wembley stadium in London, England. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn could surprise the fans with a completely different fight than the ones they’ve expected to take place. For the longest time, it’s been thought that Joshua and Whyte would be the one headlining the April 13 card at Wembley, but there are now rumors that Joshua could move off the card and instead defend against Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in the sprint in New York.
If Whyte doesn’t get the fight against Joshua next, as he was hoping to get, then Povetkin would be an ideal choice for him to battle. Whyte had shown interest in fighting Povetkin earlier this year. If that desire is still there for ‘The Body Snatcher,’ the two of them now could face each other.
“[Povetkin] is a good, strong fighter but I know what you have to do to beat him,” Whyte said to skysports.com earlier this year. “You just need a good, strong jab and you beat Povetkin all day. I’d fight him next. I just told him. He said he’d fight me next. [Promoter Eddie Hearn] said he’d make it.”
With Povetkin’s recent 7th round knockout defeat at the hands of Joshua on September 22, the Russian is now get in position for another world title shot against AJ. By beating the winner of the Whyte vs. Chisora II fight, Povetkin would put himself in position for a lucrative second fight with Joshua. It’s questionable though whether the winner of the Whyte-Chisora 2bout will want to take on a still very live Povetkin. Although the Russian fighter is getting up there in age, he’s still a very dangerous guy for either Whyte or Chisora. Povetkin, 6’2″, hurt the much bigger 6’6″ Joshua in the 2nd round of their fight before getting worn down and stopped in the 7th round.
Whyte and Chisora aren’t tall enough to dominate Povetkin the way Joshua did. There would be a lot of risk for Chisora or Whyte to fight Povetkin. This wouldn’t be a gimme for them.
Whether the winner of the Whyte vs. Chisora rematch would be interested in facing Povetkin would depend on a lot of things. If Joshua chooses not to fight the winner of the Whyte-Chisora 2 contest, then Povetkin would definitely be an option, but they would have to be willing to take a very risk in facing him. Then there would also be the hurdles in trying to work out the purse split for a fight with Povetkin. He’s a popular fighter, and he would obviously want good money to face Whyte or Chisora. Povetkin is still a great option for the winner of the Chisora-Whyte fight if they fail to get a title shot against Joshua on April 13. If Whyte or Chisora don’t fight Joshua in April, then they would need to fight someone. Neither of them has shown a desire to face Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz or Joe Joyce. Hearn can’t stick Dave Allen in with Whyte or Chisora without angering a lot of boxing fans in the process. They need to be matched against credible world class opponents, and Povetkin is a guy that would fit that description.
The negative about Whyte or Chisora facing Povetkin is they could lose to him, and that would ruin their chances of getting the big payday fight against Joshua. However, Whyte seems to think he can beat Povetkin, as he sees him as a smaller fighter he can control from the outside using his jab. Despite his self confidence, Whyte almost lost his last fight to Joseph Parker, and that’s a guy Povetkin would have a very good chance of beating.
If Whyte shows zero improvement from his fight with Parker, then he probably will lose badly to Povetkin. However, having the fight take place in the UK would give Whyte a good chance of defeating Povetkin on points. Whyte might be able to get away with roughing Povetkin up for 12 rounds like he did against Parker without being disqualified or losing due to numerous point deductions.
Whyte likes to talk about how he’s willing to fight anyone in the heavyweight division. If Whyte is willing, he could back up his bold talk by taking on Povetkin if he defeats Chisora on Saturday. If Joshua chooses not to fight Whyte next, it would only be due to him failing to raise his popularity enough to make a rematch between them viable for the UK. Whyte has won his last eight fights since his 7th round knockout loss to Joshua in 2015, but he’s not always looked good and two of his best wins during that time frame against Chisora and Parker were controversial. Whyte could very well have lost those fights. Additionally, Whyte didn’t take on Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz and Joe Joyce when he was called out by them. This isn’t a knock on Chisora and Parker, but Ortiz and Joyce are arguably both fighting at a higher level than those two heavyweights right now. Ortiz almost knocked out WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder earlier this year in March, and the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joyce is looking out of this world good right now with the way he’s steam rolling everyone in his path.
Whyte should have accepted the challenge from Joyce and Ortiz rather than wasting time fighting Parker after the New Zealand fighter had already been beaten by Joshua in his previous fight. Whyte’s other wins in the last two years have come against Robert Helenius, Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, Ivica Baccurin, Ian Lewison, Dave Allen and Malcolm Tann. Those aren’t great fighters. Whyte has been matched well by his promoter Eddie Hearn. Dillian hasn’t been fighting the guys that are on the same level as Joyce and Ortiz, and that’s not all that surprising. Hearn has been trying to rebuild Whyte’s career without having suffer another setback, and the only that he could do that is by putting him in with beatable opposition. When you put fighters in with lesser guys, they fail to increase their popularity.
Whyte’s popularity isn’t where it should be for him to be a great option for Joshua’s April 13 fight. Since it appears that Whyte has no interest in facing Ortiz and Joyce, he at least should face Povetkin to make a second fight between him and Joshua will a big seller in the UK. The boxing public already knows who’s going to win the Joshua vs. Whyte 2 fight, so it’s not an appealing contest for them. Whyte needs to raise his game by beating someone good for a change in Povetkin to show that he has a chance of avenging his loss to Joshua when they eventually face each other.