Betfair Ambassador David Haye responds to the big fight news that Dillian Whyte will face off against Alexander Povetkin in Manchester for the interim WBC world heavyweight title...
"In heavyweight boxing we need more fights like this, the best fighting the best."
Povetkin a real threat
Alexander Povetkin is a very serious contender and a real threat to Dillian Whyte in Manchester on 2 May. He is a former heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medallist. He has a tremendous overhand right, left hook combination and knocked the granite-chinned Carlos Takam out. Povetkin has been around for so long, is vastly experienced, but may just be getting a little long in the tooth now.
Whyte will have to be in a career-best physical and mental condition going into this fight. He can't be looking ahead to the likes of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. He can't afford to spend time thinking about anyone else but Povetkin if he is to get the win needed to progress his career towards the top names in the division.
Povetkin is friendly with Vladimir Putin and is a massive name in Russia, with the entire country behind him. I have been to Russia multiple times and can confirm, Povetkin is the Joshua of Russia. He's the poster boy for boxing in that part of the world and, when fit and active, he's a dangerous fighter who will give any opponent a tough night's work.
Whyte will rise to the occasion
Having said that, I do fancy Whyte to get the win. His recent form has been fantastic. In his last fight against Mariusz Wach he had to dig deep and show what he is all about. Time and again, Dillian has been tested and has risen to the occasion. Even in the fight against Derek Chisora where he was losing, down on the scorecards, he found a way to win.
Against Oscar Rivas - a technical, come-forward, aggressive fighter with a similar style to Povetkin - Whyte was able to nullify the attacks. He rises to the occasion every time. He may not have looked his best against Wach in Saudi Arabia last time, but we can't be too harsh on him for that. It was a last minute, late notice fight he didn't have much time to prepare for, but he was fighting someone he believed he was significantly better than and that proved to be the case, winning in comfortable fashion.
Whyte has teamed up with a new strength and conditioning coach in Ruben Tabares, a guy who was my strength and conditioning coach throughout my heavyweight boxing career, so I'm expecting to see an all-new Dillian. One who can reload, keep pushing the pace. It's going to be a great fight for Manchester and those in attendance will be treated to a barnstormer.
Fans should prepare for a thriller
The two have similar styles in that they walk forward, looking for the knockout shots from the first bell. Whyte has already shown us he's not scared of any man. They come to the ring with ultimate confidence. In heavyweight boxing we need more fights like this, the best fighting the best.
I'm picking Dillian to put on a masterclass, use his jab, keep it long then step in to exchange hooks with his opponent. Povetkin has been down a few times, he's been hurt, and he's got a lot more miles on the clock.
He has endured many hard 12-round fights and that has taken a lot out of the tank. To win this fight Povetkin will need to be better than he has ever been before and I'm not sure there's enough left at the bottom of the well.