Promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t expect Saturday night’s heavyweight rematch between Alexander Povetkin 356-2-1 (25) and Dillian Whyte 27-2 (18) to last until the final bell.
Russian veteran Povetkin, 41, scored a surprise fifth-round knockout against the 32-year-old Whyte in Brentwood, England last August after being on the canvas twice himself.
The pair were scheduled to rematch in late November before the fight was postponed after Povetkin contracted Covid-19.
The fight was rescheduled for January 30 before being pushed back again to March 6 in England. The date was again pushed back to March 27 and the fight moved to Gibraltar due to travel restrictions in place in the UK due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
According to Hearn, the extra four months to prepare will help both of them.
“I think it’s gonna suit both of them,” the Matchroom Boxing boss told iFL TV ahead of the fight at the Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar.
“I think it’ll be a better fight, actually, for taking place now. You can debate it, can’t you? You can talk about pros and cons, but it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be, which is incredibly violent and someone’s gonna get brutally knocked out.
“This ain’t gonna be a points victory or a stopped on your feet. This is gonna be a brutal knockout on Saturday night and we hope it goes our way.”
The left uppercut that sent Whyte down for the count in their first matchup not only ended the Brixton bomber’s almost five-year, 11-fight win streak, it also relieved him of his WBC mandatory contender position.
Whyte was hoping for a shot at WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 30-0-1 (21) immediately after the Povetkin fight.
Even if he defeats Povetkin in the rematch, that fight is unlikely to happen anytime soon with Fury set to face WBA, WBO, and IBF champion Anthony Joshua 24-1 (22) in a two-fight series this year.
“If I beat Povetkin then that makes me the mandatory challenger again, but as Fury has signed to fight Joshua, I’m going to have to wait,” Whyte told BBC Sport.
“I’m obviously excited at the prospect of fighting one of them for four belts. They’re the best in the world and I’m in boxing to fight the best. But if they sign for two fights, I’d probably have to wait for a year to fight them.
“I wouldn’t sit around though – I’d fight someone else in between. I was number one challenger before, but I still took dangerous fights.”
After so many delays, Hearn is just excited the fight is finally going ahead.
“I’m extremely nervous, extremely nervous, and secretly, you know, although I know how nervous I’ll be on Saturday, I can’t wait,” he said.
“Because these are the nights you live for, where they do their ring walk and you just go, ‘Fuck! It’s on now. This is it. This is the moment.’”
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