Location: Europa Point Sports Complex, Gibraltar Date: 27. March
Cover: Live text commentary on the website and Sports App, and live commentary on the 5 Live website.

On Saturday night, British heavyweight Dillian Whyte hopes to erase the memory of his loss against Alexander Povetkin over seven months ago by beating the Russian to regain his interim WBC title and secure the prestigious diamond belt.

In his second sports column, he talks about how it feels to get knocked out, inviting his former trainer Lennox Lewis, his Rumble on the Rock rematch in Gibraltar and the prospect of fighting the winner of Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury.

Knockout

I’ve been asked how it feels to be knocked out, but that’s the same as asking how it feels to be knocked out!

I’ve been in a training camp in Portugal for over a year now. I have to be careful not to study too much, so sometimes I get told to take a few days off, which I find difficult. It was hard not seeing my family, but I’m a cool person at heart, so I got over it.

They say I was the favorite in the first fight against Povetkin – but I think it was a 50/50 fight.

I’ve been asked how it feels to be knocked out, but that’s like asking how it feels to be dead! I remember what happened. It landed on the top cup, then I remembered the fall and the referee counted. I tried to get up at eight, but the judge said: No, it’s over.

I couldn’t exercise or make head contact for about six weeks. Then I got a scan and the doctor examined me. The British Boxing Control Board does a very good job with post-operative care.

If I win this fight, I know I would become a clear challenger to Fury, who is currently fighting Joshua for all four world heavyweight belts, but I have no intention of letting him win me over. Boxing is one fight at a time, you can’t plan too far ahead because you don’t know what’s going to happen.

In November, the rematch against Povetkin was cancelled after less than three weeks because Povetkin was hospitalized with Covid-19. Of course I was really sad to hear that he had done it, but I was also really upset because I was ready for it.

Rumble on the Rock

I brought Lennox Lewis’ former trainer, Harold Shadow Knight, who helped Lennox to two rematch wins, including this one against Hasim Rahman in Las Vegas in 2001.

The battle for Gibraltar will be fun. I box to achieve goals, inspire people and entertain different fans, so I am grateful to have this opportunity.

For this fight we have Lennox Lewis’s former trainer Harold Shadow Knight. Harold helped Lennox to two wins in the rematch. He brings experience, calm and confidence to camp and helps me be more consistent, so I’m grateful to have him around. Boxing is a team sport and he was a good fit for our team.

Preparing for a rematch is very common for me. For some boxers, this can have an impact and they begin to doubt themselves. But I don’t. I’m just happy to be back and doing a lot of old stuff that I haven’t done in a while. Everything’s fine now. But I’m not going to tell you which one, of course – you’ll find out in the evening.

Everyone feels the pressure, but I deal with it. Yes, I laugh and smile a lot, but there is a lot of violence in me. I only distribute them properly when I know I’ll need them. Because I’m a big, strong guy and I don’t need to be a diva. I am very respectful and easy going until someone upsets me.

This is 100% the biggest fight of my career so far. Immediately after the defeat and I demand an immediate rematch. I’m not nervous, you know. I’m excited. It’s just another fight, and I’ve been fighting my whole life. I’m a warrior. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fighter. I’m not worried about losing. My mind is just focused on fixing the wrong thing.

Joshua vs Fury

In my opinion, this is a 50/50 fight because they have a lot of similarities. I can’t wait for them to fight.

If I beat Povetkin, I’d be a mandatory challenger again, but since Fury has signed to fight Joshua, I’ll have to wait.

Needless to say, I’m excited to fight one of them for four belts. They are the best in the world, and I am in boxing to fight the best. But if they draw two fights, I’ll probably have to wait a year to fight them. But I wouldn’t sit down. I would fight with someone else in between. I was number one, but I was always in dangerous fights.

Joshua is strong, has good speed and has shown he can come back when injured against other fighters. He was knocked out against Andy Ruiz, but showed versatility in his second fight back and took no chances.

Fury is very agile, has good reflexes and movement for a big guy, but I don’t know if he’s physically stronger. But it’s bigger, heavier, and has a longer range. He’s one of those guys where you think you’re going to lose a fight, but then he comes back. He overcomes adversity and beats up guys in ways you wouldn’t think possible. He draws Deontay Wilder and says he’ll knock him out next time, and he does. He went from a defender to an offensive fighter.

In my opinion, it’s a 50/50 fight because they have a lot in common and both can adapt and change their style depending on the opponent, so it’s very hard to say who will win. It can be very exciting or very annoying when they try to be too technical and one is waiting for the other. I can’t wait.

Dillian White spoke to Sports’ Henry Ditchfield.

 

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