Povetkin-Whyte II confirmed as Brit eyes revenge


Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte will face each other in a heavyweight rematch on March 6, promoter Matchroom announced Friday.

Despite the United Kingdom being in the middle of a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and with no spectators allowed at events, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn announced Povetkin-Whyte II along with four other dates, including Lawrence Okolie versus Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO world cruiserweight title on March 20.

The British Boxing Board of Control has said professional boxing in the UK can resume from the middle of February, after halting all boxing events in the UK at the start of January.

The events will take place behind closed doors, and venues have yet to be confirmed.

Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs), 40, from Russia, knocked out Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs), 32, from London, England, in the fifth round in August, to win the WBC interim heavyweight title.

Povetkin pulled off the shock win with a stunning knockout in the garden of Matchroom’s office headquarters, to become No. 2 in the WBC rankings behind Deontay Wilder.

The WBC heavyweight world title is held by Whyte’s English rival Tyson Fury and the winner of the rematch can stake their claim of a title shot later in 2021.

IBF featherweight world titlist Josh Warrington (30-0, 7KOs), from Leeds, England, who has not fought since October 2019, will face Mexico’s Mauricio Lara (21-2, 14 KOs) on Feb. 13, but not against Xu Can (18-2, 3KOs), from China, who holds the WBA “regular” title, as anticipated. Warrington will have to wait until later in 2021 for a possible unification fight with Can.

Also on Feb. 13, England’s Zelfa Barrett (24-1, 15 KOs) faces Spain’s Kiko Martinez (41-9-2, 29 KOs) at junior lightweight.

The European welterweight title fight between David Avenesyan and Josh Kelly — twice postponed due to the pandemic — has been rescheduled for Feb. 20.

Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KOs), 26, from Sunderland, England, withdrew from facing England-based Russian Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KOs), 32, in December 2018 due to illness. Their fight was again postponed from happening in London on March 28 due to the outbreak.

Okolie (15-0, 12 KOs), 28, from London, England will have his first world title shot against Poland’s former WBO world titleholder Glowacki, 32, on Mar. 20.

On the same bill, England’s Chantelle Cameron (13-0, 7 KOs) makes the first defense of her WBC junior welterweight world title against Puerto Rico’s Melissa Hernandez (23-7-3, 7 KOs).

An event on April 10 features English welterweight Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) against Colombia-born, Canada-based Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) and England’s Savannah Marshall (9-0, 7 KOs) in a first defense of her WBO middleweight world title.

“It is going to be a rough ride over the next couple of months but with plenty of drama and excitement along the way,” Hearn said. “We have some thrilling main events and stacked cards that feature some of the biggest names in British boxing returning to action as we look to make a real statement in 2021.”

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