Dillian Whyte was one fight away from an ordered world title shot last August when he was knocked out by Alexander Povetkin, the last step toward the big one proving a huge stumbling block.
Saturday (3 pm ET, DAZN) in Gibraltar, Whyte (27-2, 18 KO) has the chance to get some revenge, as he faces Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KO) in a highly-anticipated heavyweight rematch. Whyte has kept a cool attitude even since the moments after the first fight ended, but he knows there’s plenty on the line here.
“This time I’ll beat him, and we’ll see what people are going to say.” said Whyte. “One, two or three losses means nothing to a heavyweight nowadays. If you fight good fighters, the main thing is you can come back. This is a must-win fight for me, but I’m not a guy that worries about pressure. I just smile and take it in my stride.”
How to Watch Povetkin vs Whyte 2
The 41-year-old Povetkin came off the canvas twice in the fourth round before knocking Whyte out on a KO of the Year contender uppercut in the fifth, one of the most dramatic fights of the year. And Whyte already respected Povetkin going in, and gained some more after.
“Povetkin is a very cagey guy and an experienced guy, a very patient guy. He’s a tough guy as well,” he said. “Last time I didn’t land properly and he went down, but he showed resilience by getting up and then he stopped me. This time when I hit him he’ll stay down.
“I’m a very adaptable kind of guy, I’ll do what I need to do to get the win. I don’t care if I’ve got to rough a guy up or outbox them. I’ll do whatever it takes for me to win. It’s the biggest fight of my career. I’m coming off a loss to the guy. The good thing is this is heavyweight boxing. One fight changes everything.”
Whyte also preaches that he won’t be overly concerned about returning the spectacular knockout.
“I don’t care if I have to throw two jabs and move or get in and throw power punches and rough him up. I’ll do whatever I have to do,” he said. “I’m not worried about a career-best performance, I’m worried about getting the win. My mindset is I’ve got a job to do and I’ll do whatever I need to do to get it done.
“I can worry about looking good in another fight. This is about winning. When I touch him this time his whole body is going to vibrate, he’ll understand. I’m coming to do what I do best and that’s to inflict pain. If I’ve got to make it a dog fight then I’ll make it a dog fight. It will be a different story this time.”