Povetkin has COVID, Whyte rematch postponed

Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte 2, scheduled for November 21, has been postponed because the Russian has been hospitalised after testing positive for COVID-19.

Povetkin shattered Whyte’s world heavyweight title dreams back on August 22 when he stopped the Londoner in five rounds.

The 41-year-old veteran had looked booked for defeat when he was down himself twice in round 4, but recovered to stun ‘The Body Snatcher’ in the next session with a perfect left uppercut.

That wrestled the title of WBC mandatory contender away from Whyte, and he was hoping to get it back on Saturday November 21. The rematch had been slated to take place at Wembley Arena in London.

But then, on Tuesday afternoon, promoter Eddie Hearn made the announcement that Povetkin (36-2-1) had been hospitalised following a positive test for COVID-19.

Hearn’s Tweet said the bout will be pencilled in for a new target date of January 30, 2021. He also said an announcement about the future of that planned November 21 show would be made shortly.

He added: “Firstly we want to wish Alexander Povetkin a speedy recovery. This is a challenging time for shows. There will be lots of ups and downs over the next few months. We look forward to the fight happening in late January.”

Whyte vs Povetkin was the highlight of Hearn’s Matchroom Fight Camp during the summer, and Povetkin’s picture-perfect uppercut provided a fitting finale.

Now fans will have to wait for a second instalment of what was a fascinating matchup while it lasted.

Povetkin vs Whyte 2 part of a stacked schedule

Povetkin vs Whyte 2 was part of what was shaping up to be a stellar finish to 2020 for the heavyweight division.

Last Saturday night WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk defeated Dereck Chisora on a pay-per-view show, again at Wembley Arena.

And on Saturday November 28, domestic prospects Daniel Dubois (15-0) and Joe Joyce (11-0) meet in a blockbusting showdown.

Then Tyson Fury is set to defend his WBC heavyweight title at Royal Albert Hall on December 5. Likely against unbeaten German Agit Kabayel.

Finally, Anthony Joshua defends his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev at the O2 Arena on December 12.

By the end of that run, we should have a much clearer view on how the division stands. And if of course Fury and Joshua remain firmly on course for that mammoth showdown next year.

Povetkin vs Whyte 2 was to have been shown on pay-per-view by Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. DAZN meanwhile was set up to stream the bout in the United States as well as its other eight markets (Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Switzerland and Austria).