Alexander Povetkin is set to face Dillian Whyte on Aug. 22 at Matchoom HQ in England, and with Whyte having recently parted with trainer Mark Tibbs, the Russian veteran is rightly wondering if Whyte will be at his best, which he’ll need to be.
The split with Tibbs and Whyte seems amicable, just a situation where Tibbs has a family, there’s a pandemic going on, etc. It sounds like the timing just didn’t match up here. But yes, one has to wonder if it will impact Whyte’s performance, which is what Povetkin said to Sky Sports:
“Anything can happen in the camp. Proof boxers should be ready for everything. Only the fight will demonstrate if the trainer has had an effect on his camp and preparation. ... Maybe there is pressure on him. Every fight has pressure.”
The 40-year-old Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KO) has been a strong contender for years, but really never has gotten over the hump. He won a secondary WBA title that nobody took seriously back when Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko were ruling the division, and when he got his shot at Wladimir in 2013, the two put on one of the worst big-time fights in recent history.
But outside of Klitschko and Anthony Joshua, no one’s beaten Povetkin, either, though Marco Huck had an argument in 2012 and he’s coming off of a draw with Michael Hunter last December.
Whyte (27-1, 18 KO) having a new chief second is not ideal for him no matter how you slice it, and Povetkin is a technically sound fighter who doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes and knows how to neutralize most opponents. It’s an interesting matchup that now has this extra wrinkle, and with Whyte’s long-awaited shot at the WBC title on the line, there’s a lot of pressure on him.