Dillian Whyte has the chance to avenge last month’s shock knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin and rescue his career in a rematch scheduled for Nov. 21.
Promoter Matchroom has yet to confirm a venue for Whyte-Povetkin II, and it is still unclear when fans will be allowed to attend sports events in the U.K. again after crowds were locked out in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Venues in London — the Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena — are being considered by Matchroom for the rematch.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn hopes to have a limited crowd in attendance for a show featuring light-heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi on Oct. 4; he said in a tweet: “We are pushing as hard as we can with the Government for fans to return safely.”
Hearn staged four events in the garden of the company’s office headquarters in Essex, England, last month and on the last of these on Aug. 22 Whyte suffered a severe setback to his career.
Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs), 40, knocked out Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs), 32, with an uppercut in the fifth round, after Whyte had dropped the Russian twice in round four.
Despite the heavy knockout, Whyte says he does not need to make any major adjustments.
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.
“There won’t be any major adjustments, but I just need to be more switched on and not get distracted. 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.”
It was Whyte’s first defeat since being laid out by reigning WBA-IBF-WBO world heavyweight champion and English rival Anthony Joshua in December 2015, which cost him his status as WBC mandatory challenger.
The Jamaica-born, London-based heavyweight must defeat Povetkin to revive his hopes of fighting for the WBC world heavyweight title next year, or beyond.
Oleksandr Usyk is No. 2 in the latest WBC rankings — one spot below the U.S.’ Deontay Wilder, while Whyte is No. 5.
Whyte went into the Povetkin fight as the WBC’s highest ranked contender and had been told victory would guarantee him a long-awaited world title shot against the winner of Tyson Fury-Wilder III, details of which have yet to be announced.
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 Nov. 21. I hope it will be another beautiful fight for the fans.”
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), 31, of England, became WBC champion with a stoppage defeat over the American Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), 34, in February and, after Whyte lost to Povetkin, now has no restrictions in 2021 to pursue a title unification bout with (23-1, 21 KOs), 30, should he beat Wilder again.
Whyte had a rematch clause in the contract to face Povektin last month.
Hearn announced Ghana-born, London-based Buatsi (12-0, 10 KOs) will face Croatian Marko Calic (11-0, 6 KOs) at the top of a Sunday show that sees England’s Chantelle Cameron (12-0, 7 KOs) face Brazil’s Adriana Dos Santos Araujo (6-0, 1 KO) for the vacant WBC super lightweight world title.
Matchroom’s third announcement of an event was English super lightweight Lewis Ritson against Mexico’s former world Champion Miguel Vazquez (42-9, 16 KOs) on October 17.
The bill also features England’s Savannah Marshall (8-0, 6 KOs) versus Scotland’s Hannah Rankin (9-4, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBO world middleweight title, and Scotland’s Kash Farooq (13-1, 6 KOs) against England’s Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0, 4 KOs) in a bantamweight contest.