The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world, and its impact on the sports schedule is obviously still strong.
A heavyweight rematch between Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte, initially set for November 21st in London, won’t happen until at least January 2021 after Povetkin tested positive for COVID-19. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that Povetkin was admitted to hospital for the virus.
Unfortunately we got the news today that Alexander Povetkin is in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. The fight will now be rescheduled to a target date of Jan 30. An announcement on our Nov 21 show will be made shortly @skysportsboxing @daznboxing #rollwiththepunches pic.twitter.com/yg4p9hPzfQ— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) November 3, 2020
“Alexander [Povetkin] is currently hospitalized in Moscow and is taking care of his health,” Povetkin’s promoter Andrei Ryabinsky told TASS.
“He [Povetkin] is ill and he is running a temperature,” Ryabinsky continued. ”Another member of his team has also been diagnosed with a positive case and we have resorted to all necessary measures.”
“Everyone in his team, including Povetkin, is in self-isolation now,” Ryabinsky said.
Russia has the fourth highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, trailing Brazil, India, and the United States.
Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) faced off against Whyte in August at Matchroom Headquarters, also in London. After suffering two knockdowns in the fourth round, Povetkin pulled off an extraordinary comeback with a fifth-round KO of Whyte via one massive uppercut. Whyte (27-2) hadn’t tasted defeat since his TKO vs. Anthony Joshua in 2015, and the loss to Povetkin also damaged his chances of getting either a rematch with Joshua or a shot against Tyson Fury.
Instead of having Whyte face someone else, Matchroom has opted to keep Whyte on the shelf until Povetkin (hopefully) recovers. Since this rematch was slated for pay-per-view in the UK, it will now be replaced with a non-PPV main event between Conor Benn (son of Nigel Benn) and Sebastian Formella.