Dillian Whyte has quite sensationally come out and said how he doesn’t believe Alexander Povetkin really caught the coronavirus, COVID-19. Speaking with Sky Sports, Whyte said he thinks Povetkin – who of course knocked him out in the fifth round back in August, this after the Russian has been on the floor two times himself – made it up so as to buy more time in which to get ready for their return fight.
As fans know, Povetkin tested positive and was sent to the hospital. The original rematch date for Povetkin vs. Whyte II was November 21. Now, with Povetkin out of the hospital but still recovering, the new date of January 30 remains in the balance. But Whyte insists he doesn’t think his rival had COVID anyway.
“I personally don’t think he’s got COVID,” Whyte said. “I think he just needed more time to get ready because he took a lot of damage on the first fight.”
It hasn’t taken long for Andriy Ryabinskiy to respond to what Whyte had to say.
“Let’s not listen to opinions; let us be guided by facts. It’s simple – Sasha got COVID, and he went to the hospital. It could happen to any athlete. We have all the documents at hand. If Eddie Hearn has any questions, we are ready to submit these documents.”
So, has Whyte gone way too far with his controversial statements? Has Whyte got any concrete evidence that Povetkin actually faked catching the coronavirus? If not, then it’s simply a feeling Whyte has (or had) and nothing more.
It is understandable that Whyte is frustrated. Once bang in line for a shot at the WBC heavyweight title, Whyte was then iced in dramatic fashion by the significantly older Povetkin.
Whyte is now aching to get revenge over Povetkin, who is just the second man to have beaten him. But now Whyte has to wait, possibly until a later date than Jan 30.
It all depends on how quickly Povetkin recovers and is able to resume full training. We do not know how bad a case of the virus Povetkin was hit with.
If Whyte did have genuine suspicions over whether or not Povetkin did have the virus, he could have, and should have, shown some class and remained silent about it.
After all, what good can come from what Whyte has come out and said?