Alexander Povetkin tests positive for COVID-19; Nov. 21 rematch vs. Dillian Whyte postponed

The two heavyweights were set to go again at the SSE Arena, Wembley after Povetkin's shocking knockout victory in August.

Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte 2 has been postponed until early 2021 after the Russian veteran tested positive for COVID-19, Matchroom Boxing confirmed on Tuesday.

The rematch was set to headline a card on Nov. 21, but it appears that a rearrangement will now have to wait until after Christmas, with Jan. 30 as a new target date.

“Firstly we want to wish Alexander Povetkin a speedy recovery,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.

“This is a challenging time for shows. There will be lots of ups and downs over the next few months. We look forward to the fight happening in late January."

Hearn has already put Matchroom's schedule up to the end of 2020 in place, with Katie Taylor headlining a card in a mandatory defence of her undisputed lightweight championship against Miriam Gutierrez on Nov. 14 and Billy Joe Saunders defending his WBO super-middleweight belt against Martin Murray on Dec. 4.

Both cards are set for the SSE Arena at Wembley, where Oleksandr Usyk's victory over Dereck Chisora was staged on Saturday and where Whyte-Povetkin 2 would have been held prior to the postponement.

Several fights had already been announced for the undercard, including Conor Benn vs. Sebastian Formella, Chris Billam-Smith vs. Deion Jumah and Alen Babic's next fight against an opponent TBA.

It remains to be seen whether the card will go on as scheduled with a replacement main event.

Povetkin won the first encounter with Whyte at the fourth and final Fight Camp card on Aug. 22, staged on the grounds of Matchroom's headquarters in Brentwood, Essex.

Whyte boxed a near-perfect contest for the first four rounds, knocking down the 41-year-old twice and surging into a wide early lead on the scorecards, before a vicious uppercut stopped him dead in his tracks early in the fifth to the shock of everybody watching.

When the rematch does finally take place, Britain's Whyte must avenge his defeat to reclaim the interim WBC championship and revive his hopes of challenging for a world title in 2021.

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