Dillian Whyte on Alexander Povetkin: "I think he just needed more time to get ready"; triple-header of women's world title fights on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, to be streamed free on YouTube, Facebook and skysports.com
Thursday 12 November 2020 09:42, UK
Alexander Povetkin's team have vowed to disclose medical 'documents' after Dillian Whyte questioned the reason for his delayed rematch with the Russian.
Povetkin pulled out of a scheduled second fight against Whyte on November 21 after requiring hospital treatment for Covid-19, with a new date being targeted for January 30.
However, Whyte has suggested that Povetkin needed more time to prepare, telling Sky Sports: "I personally don't think he's got Covid.
"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."
Povetkin's promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy announced on Tuesday that the former WBA heavyweight champion has been released from hospital and revealed further details about his treatment.
"He had a rather difficult form of coronavirus, but he passed this crisis period, the doctors put him back on his feet," Ryabinskiy told Sky Sports.
"Sasha [short for Alexander] is now feeling well; no complications have been identified. At the moment, his main task is to restore health and return to the necessary physical shape.
Obviously, it is more profitable for us to have a rematch with Whyte after his defeat as soon as possible.
"We hope Sasha will return to training in two to three weeks. But any physical activity should be coordinated with doctors, while they are careful in their forecasts and only say that it is necessary to monitor the situation and Sasha's well-being."
Responding to Whyte's doubts, Ryabinskiy said: "There are so many different opinions. Let's not listen to opinions, but be guided by facts and make decisions.
"The facts are simple - Sasha got coronavirus, and we were forced to postpone the fight. This can happen to any athlete. Sasha was in the hospital, we have all the documents at hand. If Eddie Hearn has any question of this kind, I am ready to submit all these documents.
"Obviously, it is more profitable for us to have a rematch with Whyte after his defeat as soon as possible."
Ryabinskiy insisted it is "too early" to target a specific date for the rematch, but Whyte believes he will only benefit from the additional weeks in training camp.
"I was just in my peak stage now, so I can't just crash out and let it all die down," said Whyte. "I've got to keep the engine warm and still train, but just not as hard. I keep the same intensity, but just not the volume.
"They wanted more time, or whatever. More time for me. More time for me to learn and bond with my team and to keep improving.
"We worked on a lot of stuff in the last camp that's only falling into place for this camp, so it's all good."
Watch Katie Taylor, Terri Harper and Rachel Ball in world title action this Saturday, from 7pm on Sky Sports.