The so-called ‘Rumble on the Rock’ comes seven months after Whyte appeared to see his long wait for a world title shot ruined as a shuddering left uppercut in the fifth round of their delayed first meeting at Matchroom’s Fight Camp made him lose WBC interim status.
Battle-hardened Russian Povetkin – whose only previous defeats were at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua – had been dominated and knocked down twice through the first four rounds of that encounter, but recovered with a knockout to reinforce his reputation as a dangerous opponent for any heavyweight contender, even in his 40s.
This rematch was originally supposed to take place at Wembley Arena in November, only for delays owing to Povetkin testing positive for Covid-19, with January also ruled out.
The contest was then finally slated for March 6, only to be pushed back again last month and switched to the unusual location of Gibraltar due to coronavirus travel restrictions, with Whyte having been training in Portugal – a country previously on the UK’s “red list”.
Another loss here is simply unthinkable for ‘The Body Snatcher’ if he wants to potentially meet the winner of Tyson Fury’s pair of undisputed mega-clashes with former foe Joshua agreed for this year.
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 fight card/undercard in full
As well as a stellar main event, there is also plenty to watch on the undercard, with Ted Cheeseman battling JJ Metcalf for the vacant British super-welterweight belt and the professional debut of Ricky Hatton’s son, Campbell.
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte – for the WBC interim heavyweight title
Ted Cheeseman vs JJ Metcalf – for the vacant British super-welterweight title
Fabio Wardley vs Eric Molina – 10-round heavyweight fight
Campbell Hatton vs Jesus Ruiz – four-round lightweight fight
Youssef Khoumari vs Kane Baker – 10-round super-featherweight fight
Chris Kongo vs Michael McKinson – for the WBO global welterweight title
Eric Pfeifer vs Nick Webb – 10-round heavyweight fight
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 date, start time, venue and ring walks
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 27, 2021.
The card is taking place at the multi-purpose Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar – a former Ministry of Defence cricket pitch that hosts a variety of different events.
The main event is not expected to start any earlier than 10:30pm GMT and it could be later than that, depending on the length of the undercard bouts.
How to watch Povetkin vs Whyte 2
TV channel: Saturday’s event is being shown live on Sky Sports Box Office at a cost of £19.95.
Live stream: Fans who have purchased the action can also stream it live online via the Sky Sports Box Office app, player and website.
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 fight prediction
Whyte was boxing very nicely and coasting to victory in the first fight, until losing concentration for a split second and paying the full price as the determined Povetkin crashed in that devastating left uppercut.
It’s a well-worn cliche that a single punch can change everything in a heavyweight bout due to the sheer power involved, but it certainly rang true last August.
Since then, Povetkin, now 41, has battled Covid, spending time in hospital.
If he can replicate all the good work of the first four rounds in the opening fight and be more wary of the Russian’s capabilities, then Whyte should be able to successfully gain revenge.
We are backing him to put on a measured, clinical and sensible performance that could potentially lead to a wide points victory rather than any explosive early fireworks.
A late knockout seems more likely, however.
Another loss just can’t happen if Whyte wants to get that shot at the winner of Fury-Joshua.
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 press conference
Whyte: “The first fight was good, and fair play to him he landed a good punch. I’m glad he took the rematch and that we’re here.
“I just love fighting, I enjoy what I do. It’s been difficult for everyone this last year. I’m just doing my part to try to bring our beloved sport back to some kind of normality.
“This fight is as big as any fight, so I’m just glad everything is safe and it’s the best place to be to have a crowd. It’s going to be jumping.
“It’s the most important fight of my career, but I’ve been through ups and downs, and I’m used to being knocked down and getting back up.
“I’m used to showing people what I can do when I’ve been written off. I’m still improving, constantly.
“He’s a good fighter, but I’m still learning, improving and getting better every day. The main thing is to win, I’m a competitor.
“I’ll get the win however I can, I know I can adapt. I’ll do whatever I need to do, my coaching team has worked hard on different plans.”
Povetkin: “I’m very happy to be in this unusual venue, and I feel relaxed and confident.
“I just want to produce good boxing on Saturday, that’s all I’m thinking right now.
“I’ll almost forget the last fight; it’s a done story. Dillian will be better in the second fight than the first.
“So I must be more careful to pay attention to my defence, and forget the story of the first fight.
“I don’t have this mind and feeling that I will knock him out.
“I just want to come out and win, it could go the distance, I’m not focused on the knockout. I just need to follow my plan.”
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 weigh-in results
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 betting odds
- Povetkin to win: 7/2
- Whyte to win: 30/100
- Draw: 69/1
- Povetkin via KO/TKO or DQ: 4/1
- Povetkin via decision/technical decision: 31/1
- Whyte via KO/TKO or DQ: 8/11
- Whyte via decision/technical decision: 4/1