25 August 2020

Tony Bellew backs Dillian Whyte to beat Alexander Povetkin in rematch but admits Briton’s ‘career is on the line'

Tony Bellew believes Dillian Whyte will still be world heavyweight champion one day despite being knocked out by Alexander Povetkin last weekend.

Whyte was controlling the fight on Saturday night and put his Russian opponent down twice in the fourth round before being cleaned out by an incredible left uppercut.

Bellew won all four rematches in his professional career (PA)

And while the defeat has undoubtedly set Whyte back in his quest for a world title shot, Bellew believes he will win a rematch against Povetkin and throw himself right back in the mix.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: "I definitely believe Dillian Whyte will still get to the final destination and become a heavyweight champion of the world.

"Just the right opponents at the right time. We’ve gotta remember, 1,000 days he’s been waiting to challenge for the WBC world title.

"And for 800 of them days Deontay Wilder’s been the world champion – a man who didn’t want to face Dillian Whyte, didn’t wanna know. He was facing taxi drivers instead of facing Dillian Whyte.

"It’s wrong what’s been done to the lad, but he’s now in this very strange position where he’s gotta go into the rematch and his career is on the line.

“I believe Dillian will beat Povetkin. I think he needs to go in there and perform basically the same. Just, when you go in for the final finish, you’ve got to be alert and aware."

Whyte had a rematch clause in the contract against Povetkin and promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to stage the second clash at the end of November.

The Body Snatcher was mandatory for Tyson Fury’s WBC strap and had been told he would receive his shot before February 2021.

That time frame appears to have dissipated due to his defeat, but a win against Povetkin would mean he reclaims his mandatory status.

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