Dillian Whyte takes a balanced view of his shock knockout defeat to Alexander Povetkin but has vowed “all hell will break loose” if he gets the upper hand again in this month’s rematch.
The Brixton heavyweight knocked down his Russian opponent twice and seemed to be on the verge of a stoppage win that would have reinforced his position as the WBC’s mandatory challenger, only to be flattened himself in the fifth round.
A vicious left uppercut sent Whyte crashing to the canvas as he was beaten for just the second time in a 29-fight professional career, but the Londoner can avenge the defeat in the return bout on March 27 in Gibraltar.
Whyte overhauled his diet and training regimen after his loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2015, but the 32-year-old revealed he has made very few adjustments from how he prepared for the first Povetkin fight last August.
However, Whyte is convinced a different outcome is in store while he insisted he will go all out for the stoppage if he floors Povetkin again, rather than take a more circumspect approach.
Whyte told the PA news agency: “I’m going to get the win and get the win in style. I’m definitely going for the knockout this time, 100 per cent. All hell will break loose if I knock him down again this time, trust me.
“I can beat him, I was beating him before and I know I can beat him. I just want to get in there and put the wrong right straightaway. We’re not considering a loss, we’re daring to get the win.
“I wasn’t getting outclassed, it was just one of those things in heavyweight boxing. I was bossing the fight, I switched off for a second and got caught. It hasn’t damaged me in any way mentally or physically.
“Muhammad Ali got beaten, the greatest of all-time Sugar Ray Robinson, they all got stopped. Boxing is like life: you don’t win everything, it’s not every day in life you wake up and you’re so positive and you’re jumping around.
“You have to keep going and be strong mentally and physically and just keep grafting. I know I can beat Povetkin, it’s not like I need to change this or become this, I’ve just got to prepare and come ready to go to war.”
The pair were supposed to fight in November but that got pushed back as Povetkin was reportedly hospitalised after contracting coronavirus, while a March 6 date at Wembley was postponed because of travel restrictions.
Whyte has been holed up in Portugal for most of the past year in training camps for these contests, admitting it is tough to be away from his home and family for so long while casting doubt on his rival having had Covid-19.
He said: “It’s been difficult but I’ve got a job to do and I’m just focused on the job. I’ve been in limbo with the job, so this has been a continuous training camp.
“It’s been frustrating. He said he had Covid, which is really mysterious because there was no evidence of him ever having Covid. We requested everything and didn’t get anything.
“If he did have Covid then I’m wrong for saying he didn’t and I’ll put my hands up to it, but if he didn’t then he’s a b****.”
Whyte is reluctant to look beyond his 41-year-old foe, who won Olympic gold at Athens in 2004 and is a former WBA heavyweight champion, but the Briton believes a win will put him hot on the heels of Joshua and Tyson Fury.
He added: “Right now I’m just focusing on Povetkin. I was fully focused on him last time and I still lost. He showed last time he’s still got a lot left in the tank and he’s a dangerous guy.
“(A win) should put me in a way better situation because he beat me last time – he’s a former Olympic gold medallist, a former world champion, so it should put me just under the top-two, really.”