Former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin has tested positive for COVID 19 and won’t be fighting Deillian Whyte in their scheduled rematch on November 21st at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) will now need to wait until January for the rematch with the powerful Russian Povetkin (35-2-1, 25 KOs) to take place, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.
It’s disappointing for sure for the many boxing fans who were waiting to see if Whyte would avenge his loss to the 41-year-old Povetkin or have his career finished off. A second defeat to Povetkin would likely be game over for the 32-year-old Whyte, although he’ll never admit that.
On the positive side, the fight’s postponement will give Whyte extra time to work on the mistakes he made in their previous contest on August 22 at the Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex.
Povetkin had studied Whyte’s previous contests and observed that he’s vulnerable to uppercuts. Anthony Joshua, Joseph Parker, and Oscar Rivas had all been able to deck Whyte with uppercuts, and he hadn’t shown that he’d learned from any of those fights.
Whether Whyte’s inability to improve on those mistakes were the fault of his trainer or his inability to adapt is unclear.
Whyte recently changed out his former trainer and was still knocked out by Povetkin, suggests that it’s his fault. He doesn’t seem to be able to fix his mistakes. For that reason, you’ve got to assume that Whyte will be vulnerable to Povetkin’s uppercuts in their rematch in January.
It’ll be interesting to see if Povetkin is 100% after returning from the COVID 19 illness. With a bug like that hitting Povetkin’s system, it takes many months before he’s in the top form that he was in his previous fight when he knocked Whyte out cold in the fifth round.
You don’t want Povetkin to go into the Whyte rematch at 75% capacity and feel the effects still from the lethal flu virus.
Hearn to reschedule Whyte vs. Povetkin 2 in January
“Alexander Povetkin has been forced to withdraw from his Saturday, November 21 contest with Dillian Whyte due to testing positive for COVID-19.
The pair were due to rematch at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Sky Sports Box Office but will now face each other on a later date to be confirmed soon.
Further details on the November 21 show will follow shortly.
“Firstly we want to wish Alexander Povetkin a speedy recovery,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “This is a challenging time for shows. There will be lots of ups and downs over the next few months. We look forward to the fight happening in late January.”