Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin rematch off after Russian hospitalised with coronavirus

Dillian Whyte’s rematch with Alexander Povetkin has been called off after the Russian was hospitalised due to contracting coronavirus.

Promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Tuesday that the 21 November bout, which was due to go ahead behind closed doors, will no longer take place and that a new date of 30 January would be pencilled in, pending Povetkin’s recovery.

Hearn said: “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 30 January. An announcement on our 21 November show will be made shortly.”

He added: “Firstly we want to wish Alexander Povetkin a speedy recovery. This is a challenging time for shows. There will be lots of ups and downs over the next few months. We look forward to the fight happening in late January.”

Whyte suffered a brutal shock defeat against Povetkin on 22 August, which saw the Briton slump to only the second defeat of his professional career, nearly five years after his loss to Anthony Joshua.

The 32-year-old had been leading the bout up until the fifth round, having knocked Povetkin down twice in the fourth, but found himself knocked out cold by a stunning uppercut that turned the fight on its head.

Povetkin’s victory, which came shy of two years since his world heavyweight title fight loss to Joshua in September 2018, saw him take hold of the WBC interim heavyweight title and put himself in the frame to face champion Tyson Fury, who holds the full WBC title after beating Deontay Wilder towards the start of the year.

With Fury’s planned rematch witl Wilder called off, the ‘Gypsy King’ is set to face Agit Kabayel in his next bout on 5 December, providing terms can be reached by the end of the day on Tuesday.

However, Hearn teased the prospect of an all-British affair between Fury and Whyte, given the Briton now had to wait for his planned revenge mission against Povetkin.

Hearn added on Twitter: “Dillian Whyte v Tyson Fury anyone?”

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