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Russian WBC Interim Champion Povetkin’s boxing bout against Dillian Whyte postponed

On November 3, Povetkin was rushed to one of the hospitals in Moscow, after he had been diagnosed with a positive COVID-19 case
Alexander Povetkin  Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS
Alexander Povetkin
© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. An earlier scheduled January 2021 fight between Russia’s WBC (the World Boxing Council) Interim Heavyweight Champion Alexander Povetkin and Britain’s Dillian Whyte has been postponed indefinitely, Andrei Ryabinsky, the head of Boxing World promotion company, told TASS on Monday.

On November 3, Povetkin was rushed to one of the hospitals in Moscow, after he had been diagnosed with a positive COVID-19 case. A source in the boxer’s team told TASS two weeks ago that Povetkin had completely recovered from the novel coronavirus and resumed with his trainings.

The boxer was discharged from the hospital on November 10 and continued his anti-coronavirus treatment at home.

Povetkin was initially set for a return bout against Britain’s Dillian Whyte on November 21, however, the fight was postponed indefinitely after Povetkin was reported to contract COVID-19. Later reports suggested late January 2021 as a provisional date for the Povetkin-Whyte bout.

"There will be no fight with Whyte in November," Ryabinsky stated in an interview with TASS. "We have underestimated the consequences of the virus and everything did not go as smoothly as we hoped for."

"Alexander [Povetkin] has been hospitalized again for a medical examination," he continued. "He has been discharged from the hospital in the recent days and starts with his training sessions. We will be amplifying his training sessions stage by stage under a strict observance of doctors."

"The sport of boxing is a very serious burden inflicted on a human body and I am totally against risking Sasha’s [Alexander Povetkin] health," he continued.

"We will be holding talks in regard to the date of the fight and will be then coming up with our proposals, which will come as soon as we know what training tempo [Povetkin] can keep up with," Ryabinsky stated.

On the night of August 22, Russia’s former Heavyweight World Champion Alexander Povetkin defeated Britain’s Dillian Whyte in the fifth round with a technical knockout to win the WBC interim heavyweight champion title.

The interim title allowed the Russian boxer to fight for the WBC heavyweight title, which is currently owned by UK’s Tyson Fury. Tyson ‘The Gipsy King’ Fury is 32 years old and his professional boxing career record stands at 30 wins (21 by KOs) and one draw.

In early September, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced that Russia’s Povetkin was scheduled for a return bout against Britain’s Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte. The 32-year-old British boxer holds a personal record of 27 wins (18 by KOs) and two defeats throughout his professional boxing career.

Povetkin, 41, is known to the fans as the ‘Russian Vityaz,’ and boasts a record of 36 wins (25 by KOs), two defeats and one draw throughout his career. The Russian boxer also won the gold at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.

Before Whyte, Povetkin fought last time in December 2019 against US heavyweight Michael ‘The Bounty’ Hunter. Povetkin and Hunter fought to a draw on December 7, 2019 in Saudi Arabia in the WBA (the World Boxing Association) Heavyweight Title Eliminator bout. The judges’ scorecards read 115-113 for Povetkin, 115-113 for Hunter and 114-114.