‘I think it is good pressure to say, ‘If I lose, I am f*****’!’: Eddie Hearn admits Dillian Whyte MUST win his rematch against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night to keep his world title hopes alive
- Eddie Hearn believes a second defeat would be ‘catastrophic’ for Dillian Whyte
- Londoner faces Alexander Povetkin for WBC interim title in Gibraltar on Saturday
- Hearn claims Whyte has rediscovered his spiteful streak ahead of their rematch
Eddie Hearn believes a second defeat for Dillian Whyte against Alexander Povetkin would be ‘catastrophic’ for his career – but says he has rediscovered his spiteful streak ahead of their rematch in Gibraltar on Saturday.
Whyte was knocked out cold in the fifth round of their first fight in Hearn’s back garden in August, which followed a week spent living adjacent to Povetkin on the confined grounds of a Holiday Inn in Brentwood.
Whyte has specifically requested that he and the Russian were separated ahead of this second clash, so while the Londoner is living on a five-star yacht hotel, Povetkin is finalising his preparations on land.
Dillian Whyte takes on Alexander Povetkin for the WBC interim title in Gibraltar on Saturday
Whyte was knocked out cold in fifth round of their first fight in Eddie Hearn’s garden in August
It is an indicator of Whyte’s returning ‘nastiness’, according to Hearn, with Whyte needing to win this fight to regain his place as the WBC’s mandatory challenger.
Referencing the first fight, which Whyte was controlling before the shock stoppage, Hearn said: ‘I wouldn’t say he got too comfortable, but when you have come from nothing and started making a load of money, and life changes, he was probably not as nasty as he was coming through. I think he has flipped a switch in the build up to this one.
‘He is a bit shorter with people, he has that kind of mentality again. He wants to hurt Povetkin. The first one he was staying in a Winnebago at the Holiday Inn, he was all friendly, playing bit of cricket. He doesn’t want that now. He has told me he doesn’t want to be around Povetkin, doesn’t want to be bumping into him saying hello.
‘You don’t want to see a guy over breakfast when you are fighting for your career.’
Hearn added: ‘If Dillian loses then his world title dreams could be over forever. That’s a big if but if he does lose then he will not get a title shot in 2021 or even 2022. Another loss is catastrophic, because it’s back-to-back defeats. But I think it is good pressure to say, “If I lose, I am f*****”.’
Promoter Hearn (right) admits Whyte must win the rematch against Povetkin this weekend