April 21, 2021

Dillian Whyte To Seek a Government Exemption For Return To UK

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Dillian Whyte is to seek a government exemption so he can return from his training camp a few days before his fight with Alexander Povetkin.

Whyte defends his interim-WBC heavyweight title against Alexander Povetkin at Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp in Essex on August 22.

The fight was originally scheduled for May before the coronavirus lockdown happened and Whyte decided to remain in his Portugal training base.

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However, current UK Government regulations mean that he would have to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving back in Britain, which would mean he would have to stay at one address for that period of time.

The issue also affects Katie Taylor, as she is training in the United States at present, ahead of her rematch with Delfine Persoon, and Povetkin, who is expected to arrive in the UK from Russia two weeks before regardless. Persoon, from Belgium, would not presently have to self-isolate, although there has been a rise in cases in that country.

“We are in discussions about an exemption,” Hearn said. “I believe there will be a number of exemptions for events published this week and we’re on the list of requests. 

“If not, there’s nothing he can do and he’ll have to come back two weeks early. It affects him, Katie Taylor because she’s training in America, and Alexander Povetkin. He’s already booked to come, he’s up for it.

“It’s not just a case of not coming back until fight week. It is more of a ballache to not come back because you have to be tested before you fly, tested when you land, tested five days after that then on fight week. 

“He’s in such a good place, he’s been in Portugal since February, he’s in unbelievable shape. When you come back into quarantine you’ve got to lock down, it’s not as if you can go to the gym. He’d have to go to the hotel down the road and stay for 14 days. I’ve to do it for four and I’m not looking forward to that. 

“We’ve built a nice gym at the hotel and fighters have scheduled their workouts, because it has to be cleaned between every workout.”

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 – covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.