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Alexander Povetkin hits back at Dillian Whyte after being labelled a “coward”

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Veteran heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin 34-2 (24) has responded with bewilderment after Dillian Whyte 25-1 (18) labelled him a coward.

In a written statement Povetkin said: “Why on Earth would Whyte call me a coward? I personally can’t understand. Everything is going according to a plan, I’m not going to tie up with boxing – I’m getting ready for a fight and who will be my rival doesn’t matter to me.”

The 39-year-old Russian is coming off a TKO7 loss to WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21) at London’s Wembley Stadium in September. His only other loss was to long-reigning heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko more than five years ago.

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Povektin earned himself a shot at ‘AJ’ with his spectacular fifth-round knockout of David Price on the undercard of Joshua’s unification bout with New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in March.

Whyte, 30, had earlier been asked about a Povetkin fight by Sky Sports.

“He’s a good fighter, but also he’s a coward as well, because he agreed to fight me at ringside after the David Price fight,” said Whyte,

“Then he said no, I’m not going to fight, I will sit around and wait until I get the chance to fight Anthony Joshua.”

There was talk of a Whyte versus Povetkin fight last month but the former WBA ‘regular’ titleholder is believed to be targeting a ring return in either March or April.

Meanwhile undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk has flagged Povetkin as a potential opponent ahead of the undefeated Ukrainian’s planned move up to the heavyweight division.

The 31-year-old Usyk 16-0 (12) unified the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO 200-pound titles with his stunning performance in the inaugural World Boxing Super Series tournament. In November he stopped former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew 30-3-1 (20) in the eighth round of a surprisingly competitive fight to retain his four world championships.

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