Last update: 03/03/20 15:17
Dillian Whyte risks his world title ambitions against Alexander Povetkin in Manchester on May 2, live at the Sky Sports box office.
The British heavyweight contender hones his skills with a showdown against former WBA champion of Russia as he waits for a mandatory title shot on the WBC belt, which is currently held by Tyson Fury.
Povetkin has already overpowered David Price and has beaten Hughie Fury on these shores to earn the respect of Whyte, who is promising another brutal battle following dramatic victories over Derek Chisora, Joseph Parker and Oscar Rivas.
“This is a big fight, Povetkin is an Olympic gold medal, he has a lot of experience, he is a former world champion and he only lost Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko,” Whyte said.
“He is still very dangerous, he gave AJ a lot of problems and then he beat Hughie Fury. I am not neglecting him at all, he will get back in shape, he is hard and very educated.
“You just have to look at his resume to see that he has always been regarded as one of the most fearsome punches in the heavyweight division with big KO wins over Marco Huck, Manuel Charr, Carlos Takam, Mariusz Wach and David Price. He showed in L Saudi Arabia that still has a lot in the tank and is still very dangerous, I have respect for him but I am at the maximum violence, animal instinct.
“I want to be the heavyweight world champion, so anywhere in the world it’s my lion’s den. If you aspire to become world champion, you should be able to fight anywhere. Manchester is a fantastic city with big fighting fans and I am looking forward to returning. “
Povetkin said: “I am happy to fight Whyte, it has been discussed for a long time but it has not happened for any reason. Dillian is a good strong boxer and will make an interesting fight. I am not talking about big announcements, I am about to win in the ring and the May 2 people will see a spectacular clash. “
Povetkin promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy, head of the World of Boxing, said: “I think all boxing fans can agree that we are ready for a great fight. Both stylistically and in terms of what is at stake in this fight makes it a spectacular and awaited event.
“Sure, we believe in Alexander, but we have to understand that Dillian Whyte is a tough, strong and ambitious opponent. He has come a long way to be in a championship fight. Many would wait for an easier opportunity, but he decided that he needs this. fights and demands respect. “
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is a heavy and so important thriller for the division landscape. Dillian Whyte sits as a mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury and while the wait is frustrating, Dillian continues to fight high risk fights and is for this which is preferred by fans.
“The last time Dillian fought in this arena, we witnessed an all-time classic against Derek Chisora. We are planning a huge night in Manchester while Dillian Whyte continues to march towards a heavyweight world title shot. “
Adam Smith, Sky Sports head of boxing development, said: “Dillian Whyte guarantees a heavyweight drama and we are expecting another explosive bout against Alexander Povetkin.
“Whyte is a short distance from a world title, but he continues to take risks against dangerous rivals and we have already seen the threat of Povetkin, who has overwhelmed David Price and posed the first problems to Anthony Joshua.
“Dillian can prove himself one of the best in the world again and there may be a very special announcement in the next few days. Manchester May 2 should be a wonderful boxing night.”