Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Alexander Povetkin confirms 'interest' in accepting Dillian Whyte's challenge
"Povetkin has been interested in the fight against Whyte even before he became the mandatory to fight Joshua"
Last Updated: 09/01/20 7:52pm
Alexander Povetkin is open to fighting Dillian Whyte next and insists he has been chasing the British contender for more than a year.
Whyte is due to meet promoter Eddie Hearn next week to discuss his plans for 2020, with a date on April 18 in London or Manchester mooted.
With the world heavyweight championships tied up in Anthony Joshua's next defence, and the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on February 22, Whyte has called out the Russian warhorse Povetkin.
"Povetkin has been interested in the fight against Whyte even before he became the mandatory to fight Anthony Joshua," confirmed a representative from his promoters, World of Boxing.
"We have not started concrete negotiations for this fight, but I heard that there was interest."
Povetkin has lost just twice in 38 fights since winning an Olympic gold medal in 2004. He was beaten by Wladimir Klitschko and Joshua but, in the past two years, has defeated British pair David Price and Hughie Fury. The 40-year-old battled Michael Hunter to a draw in his most recent fight.
"If he wants it, he can get it," Whyte said about Povetkin. "It's going to be a tear-up, because he is not really a mover and I'm not really a mover, so he's a come-forward fighter and I come forward.
"We're going to have a scrap. Povetkin comes to fight, doesn't he? He doesn't come to mess about. I'm the same, so let's get it.
"Let's see who has got the best left hook around."
Four years ago Povetkin stopped Mariusz Wach, the opponent that Whyte went the distance with last month.
Andy Ruiz Jr, who shocked Joshua then conceded the IBF, WBA and WBO gold back in their rematch, and Tyson Fury's most recent opponent Otto Wallin are also options for Whyte's return.
"They are the names on my hit-list," Whyte said.
"I could fight odd jobs but these three names are top contenders. I have told Eddie: 'get me one of these three fights'."
Joshua and Fury each went 12 rounds with Ruiz Jr and Wallin respectively so Whyte would sense an opportunity to beat them inside the distance and send a shuddering message to his rivals.
Whyte is the WBC interim champion and has been the No 1 contender in their rankings for over 800 days but will not become the mandatory challenger to the belt held by Wilder until February 2021.
Wilder will fight Fury for a second time next month and a third fight between them could fill their schedules for 2020.
"I've beaten more top 10 and top 15 contenders than [Wilder has]," Whyte said.