Promoter Eddie Hearn has promised a “good fight” for heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte in July, and one of the best names we mentioned as potentially, actually available for that date is Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin.
Povetkin, for his part, says he’s interested:
“Whyte is a good, famous boxer, No. 1 in the WBC. That would be an interesting fight. We agreed to this fight a long time ago, but there was no answer from their side, as far as I know. [If] they will give the answer that the battle will be [happening], I will go against him, why not?”
Povetkin (34-2, 24 KO) remains a contender in the division, even after his Sept. 2018 TKO loss to Anthony Joshua, but he’s also turning 40 in September so the clock is ticking on his career. He won eight straight fights between a 2013 loss to Wladimir Klitschko and the 2018 loss to Joshua, all over second- and third-tier heavyweights. He’s clearly a cut above those types, but has always been a notch below the true top heavyweights, too.
A fight with Whyte (25-1, 18 KO), then, would arguably do more to tell us where the 31-year-old Whyte stands than where Povetkin does. We know very well what Povetkin is at this point, but Whyte has aspirations of challenging Deontay Wilder or rematching Anthony Joshua, the man who handed him his loss back in 2015. Whyte has gotten better since that defeat, but he’s also shown that over second/third-tier sort of opponents like Dave Allen, Dereck Chisora (twice), Robert Helenius, and Lucas Browne. His best win, over Joseph Parker, was a good one, and Povetkin would be a similar level of challenge, maybe a bit better.
Considering what’s actually available for a July fight, as we said before, Povetkin is about as good as it’s getting. So hey, maybe it’ll happen. It would certainly be better than Whyte facing Johann Duhaupas or Tomasz Adamek or Eric Molina.