Whyte vs Povetkin II postponed: Povetkin tests positive for Covid-19

by Przemek Garczarczyk, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alexander Povetkin has tested positive for Covid-19, meaning his 21 November rematch with Dillian Whyte will not be going ahead

Matchroom boxing announced via Twitter today that Russian heavyweight, Alexander Povetkin, has tested positive for Covid-19, resulting in the postponement of his scheduled rematch with Dillian Whyte.

Povetkin (36-2-1) fought Whyte back in August when after being dropped twice himself, he found a peach of an uppercut that knocked Whyte unconscious in the fifth round.

Looking to set the record straight, Whyte pursued the rematch immediately, and the two sides were quick to agree to terms for a second outing on Saturday 21 November.

With November no longer an option, Matchroom has confirmed that they are pursuing a new date in January of next year. However, Eddie Hearn has taken to Twitter to throw Whyte's name into the mix for Tyson Fury's 5 December title defence for which he is yet to find an opponent.

Before losing to Povetkin, Whyte had long been the mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder's WBC title (now held by Fury), but he never got his shot before losing his mandatory position to Povetkin. Surely now though, with Fury in need of an opponent, and with Povetkin out of action, it would only be fair that Whyte gets the chance denied of him for so long?

While that's a nice thought, we must remember that this is boxing, and in the business of boxing 'fair' rarely comes into the equation.

With a potential mega-fight between Fury and WBA, WBO, and IBF champion, Anthony Joshua, in play for next year, it's highly unlikely that Fury would want to risk a slip-up against someone of Whyte's calibre. Instead, he'll likely take on an opponent that poses less risk while still being good enough to generate a bit of interest. Some current names being thrown around include the likes of Agit Kabayel and Carlos Takam.

As for Saturday 21 November, when Conor Benn was also set to make his return to the ring, Matchroom has stated that a "further announcement . . . will be made shortly".

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