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Dillian Whyte needs to bring back the “street guy” to beat Alexander Povetkin in November rematch

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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Dillian Whyte 27-2 (18) will get his opportunity for revenge against Alexander Povetkin 36-2-1 (25) when the heavyweights meet in an immediate rematch on November 21.

The 32-year-old Londoner was sensationally knocked out by Povetkin, 41, in five rounds last month after having the Russian veteran on the deck twice in the previous round.

A left uppercut from Povetkin laid out Whyte and cost him his WBC number one ranking. The Mexican sanctioning body dropped him to number five in their latest rankings.

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“I’m over the moon to have the rematch,” Whyte said. “As soon as I got out of the ring, I was looking for confirmation that the fight would be on.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and get back what is rightfully mine. I’m looking to do what I said I would the first time, and that’s beat Alexander Povetkin.”

Whyte insists he doesn’t need to make any major changes ahead of the rematch.

“There won’t be any major adjustments, but I just need to be more switched on and not get distracted,” Whyte said.

“He was able to use his experience against me. I will be a lot more focused and sharper in the rematch.

“I’m coming to win and knock him out. I’m coming to even the score, and the only way to do that is by knocking him out.”

Povetkin refused to be dragged into any trash talk, instead praising Whyte as a fighter.

“I’ve rested well, spent time with my family and now that the date of the rematch is known, I will soon return to my training camp and prepare as thoroughly as I did for the first fight,” Povetkin said.

“As I said before the first fight – and after it too – Dillian Whyte is a good, strong boxer. I will be ready to enter the ring on November 21. I hope it will be another beautiful fight for the fans.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn says this is the most important fight of Whyte’s career.

“If he wants to fight for a world title, everything is on the line in this fight,” the Matchroom Boxing boss told Sky Sports News.

“In that sense, everything is on the line in his career.

“It was a big shock especially because he was controlling the fight. It was a brutal knockout.

“Whyte is so hungry to win. Many people think he’s foolish taking the rematch so early. He thinks he should have won the fight, wants the chance to avenge the defeat, and wants to do it quickly.

“Povetkin said: ‘I’m all-in, I knocked you out once and I’ll do it again’.

“Whyte is raring to go. I’ve never seen him so motivated to win a fight.

“The bad boy in Whyte is coming out for this fight. Sometimes when fighters create success and gain wealth, do they become softer? I’ve seen another side to Whyte in the past three or four weeks.

“This is the old Dillian Whyte – that bad guy, that street guy who wants to do a job on Povetkin.

“This time, it’s strictly business in an absolute must-win fight.”

Povetkin claimed the interim WBC title with his win over Whyte, making him the mandatory to Tyson Fury’s full championship.

“We’ve gone from Whyte trying to win that fight to become mandatory to Fury, to him needing to win to save any chance he has of challenging for a world title,” said Hearn.

“Povetkin is mandatory to Fury. The winner of this fight will be mandatory to Fury – it’s just a case of when. Whyte had the date [by the end of February 2021] locked in and, if he wins, will be pushing for that date to be reinstated.

“But in my mind is victory only. The world championship fight will come. But if you lose this fight? Forget about that, sling it in the bin. You must beat Povetkin.

“We approach a fight with his world championship career on the line.”

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