Whyte should beat Povetkin – but may have to climb off the canvas to do so

Dillian Whyte has been no.1 in the WBC heavyweight rankings for more than a thousand days. No fighter should be in the world title queue for that long.

Whyte can really fight. It is in his character to take on anybody regardless of the threat, which is refreshing. But a date with Alexander Povetkin is loaded with risk.

In his last fight against Mariusz Wach, Whyte weighed 19st 3lbs. I would like to see him coming in lighter, max 18st 2lbs. He does not need to be any bigger.

Povetkin looked tired last time out in the draw against Michael Hunter. And he was hurt. But then Hunter would beat most outside the top five so he is a good barometer.

White is not as fast as Hunter or as versatile. He does not have the same finesse but he has more power and natural strength.

At 32 he is relatively young for a heavyweight. His only defeat came against Anthony Joshua five years ago but he has improved a lot since then.

Povetkin is 40, which, after a long, distinguished amateur career is old. Like Whyte he started out in kickboxing but switched as an amateur to win European, World and Olympic gold at super heavy.

In 132 bouts he lost only seven times and avenged every defeat. His only losses in 38 pro fights came against Wladimir Klitschko and Joshua.

He is a powerful, succinct hitter, placing his punches well. He has a pulverising, chopping right hand that snaps down on the chin.

He is a good technician and punches through the target with maximum power. That is why he has 24 KOs on his record.

Povetkin is not high energy, but he does not waste a shot. Whyte is a big target and comes at you, so don’t be surprised to see him over.

That doesn’t mean he has not made great progress since his defeat to Joshua. It is a pity he parted company with Mark Tibbs before this camp in Portugal.

They worked well together. Mark and his father Jimmy really brought him on since joining forces post Joshua. At least the split was amicable.

With them he beat former champion Joseph Parker, had him over. He went through Lucas Browne, scored impressive wins against Robert Helenius and Oscar Rivas and beat Dereck Chisora twice in great fights.

He goes again against Povetkin in what will be a stiff test, at least for eight rounds. I believe Whyte wins by late stoppage or on points to set up a shot at that elusive world title.

Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone, @McGuigans_Gym and @CyclonePromo

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