'We wish him a speedy recovery': COVID-19 rules Alexander Povetkin OUT of Dillian Whyte rematch as promoter bids to land Fury bout
Londoner Whyte had been hoping to revive his title ambitions by earning revenge over Povetkin on November 21 after the Russian produced a stunning knockout to return home a hero in August.
"The Body Snatcher" will now have to wait until at least the new year for his shot at salvation after Povetkin's positive test, although promoter Eddie Hearn said that Whyte was ready to fight WBC champion Tyson Fury, who is looking for an opponent for his scheduled UK comeback on December 5.
Fury has not fought since his emphatic dethroning of Deontay Wilder in February and is rumored to have offered a deal to former European champion Agit Kabayel, but Hearn knows that Whyte would represent a more attractive proposition for UK fans.
Unfortunately we got the news today that Alexander Povetkin is in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. The fight will now be rescheduled to a target date of Jan 30. An announcement on our Nov 21 show will be made shortly @skysportsboxing@daznboxing#rollwiththepunchespic.twitter.com/yg4p9hPzfQ— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) November 3, 2020
"Firstly, we want to wish Alexander Povetkin a speedy recovery," Hearn told Sky Sports, predicting "lots of ups and downs" as show schedules continue to face disruption amid the pandemic.
"Fury is looking for an opponent, Whyte is ready to go. Why not? We would jump into that.
"Honestly, from our side, we wouldn't be difficult in making that fight at all.
"I know Fury and his team are looking for an easy fight in December. I don't blame them.
"They are just coming off the Deontay Wilder fight and are looking to fight Anthony Joshua next year.
Dillian Whyte v Tyson Fury anyone? 🤔— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) November 3, 2020
"But Whyte is more than ready and willing to jump into that fight on December 5. It's a phone call away. If Fury wants a real fight, [Whyte] is there. We would definitely be willing to have a discussion about that fight.
"Obviously if Fury wants a more straightforward fight, we understand that as well. Certainly, we are looking to step in and take that fight."
Povetkin's promoter, Andrey Ryabinskiy, confirmed that his client was being treated in a clinic in Moscow.
"The course of the disease is normal," he said. "There is a fever but there are no critical complications.
"We hope that he will be able to recover quickly enough but we think that the fight will only take place next year.Also on rt.com 'Out COLD!' Boxing world stunned as Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin FLATTENS Dillian Whyte with HUGE uppercut (VIDEO)
"There is no talk about changing the opponent at the moment. Povetkin will box Whyte."
Derek Chisora, who lost to Oleskandr Usyk on points on Saturday as the Ukrainian made his case for challenging at the top of the division, chimed in to tell Hearn that he had "no bruises" and was "ready to rock and roll".
A trilogy fight between the pair, following Whyte's previous victories over Chisora via points and a knockout, could happen should the card still go ahead on November 21.
"His hands are good - no marks on his face, completely unscathed," said Chisora's promoter, David Haye, despite the demanding evening he endured against the slick and dangerous Usyk.
"He is ready to go for that third fight. He is ready to fight anyone for the fans."Also on rt.com Russian heroes: Boxing star Povetkin is met by a COSSACK CHOIR at airport as crowds line streets for new MMA champ Nemkov (VIDEO)