WBC interim-heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin will not be ready to stage a rematch Dillian Whyte in the month of January.
Back in August, Povetkin pulled off one of the biggest shockers of the year, when he knocked Whyte out cold with a massive uppercut in the fifth round.
Whyte was well ahead on the cards after knocking Povetkin down twice in the fourth round.
After the fight, Whyte exercised an immediate rematch clause.
The second meeting was set down for November – but later postponed after Povetkin was hospitalized with COVID-19.
A tentative date of January 30th was discussed – and now that date is in the bin as well.
According to Povetkin’s promoter, Andrey Ryabinsky, his boxer is taking longer to recover from COVID than they had initially anticipated.
In fact, Povetkin was taken to the hospital for a second time after symptoms returned.
“Alexander had to go to hospital again for examinations. The other day he was discharged and is now starting training,” Ryabinsky told TASS.
“We’ll increase the workload in stages, under the supervision of doctors. Boxing is a serious load on the body, I won’t allow Alexander’s health to be risked. There will be no fight with Whyte in January. We underestimated the consequences of the virus, everything did not go as smoothly as we thought…
“We will discuss and appoint the date of the fight when we understand at what pace we can move with preparation.”
A few weeks ago, Whyte revealed his doubts about Povekin’s diagnosis. He felt Povetkin and his handlers were throwing out a story as some type of tactic to gain additional training time.
“I personally don’t think he’s got COVID,” Whyte told Sky Sports.
“I think he just needed more time to get ready, because he took a lot of damage in the first fight. After the first fight, he took a lot of time off. Even though I got stopped, I went straight back to training and I got straight back on it.”
Ryabinsky was furious with Whyte’s statements and quickly responded.
“This can happen to any athlete. Alexander was in the hospital, we have all the documents at hand,” Ryabinsky said. “If [Whyte’s promoter] Eddie Hearn has any question of this kind, I am ready to submit all these documents.”