Dillian Whyte has conceded that he will be forced to wait until next year to face the winner between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, even if he manages to beat Alexander Povetkin at the second time of asking on Saturday night. The 32-year-old was brutally knocked out by the Russian when the pair traded blows back in August, but will get the chance to gain redemption in Gibraltar this weekend with a future world title fight firmly in his sights.
Prior to last year’s defeat, Whyte was the mandatory challenger to Fury’s WBC heavyweight belt, and held the interim version of the title before his ambitions quite literally took a hit.
Joshua and Fury are expected to face each other before the end of the year, with Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn confirming earlier this month that a two-fight deal had been signed and sealed.
The date and venue of the first clash is yet to be confirmed, but it has been reported that a late June or early July slot could be the most likely course of action.
The winner will become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis achieved the feat in 1999, with Joshua and Fury currently sharing all the marbles between them.
Whyte has announced his intention to fight for a world title on a number of occasions, but will be forced to wait until the all-British unification bouts have been settled for his shot at glory.
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He told BBC Sport on Friday that he is be hoping to face either Joshua or Fury next year, suggesting that he will look to keep himself active with a busy schedule until the opportunity arises.
“If I beat Povetkin then that makes me the mandatory challenger again,” claimed Whyte. “But as Fury has signed to fight Joshua, I’m going to have to wait.
“I’m obviously excited at the prospect of fighting one of them for four belts. They’re the best in the world and I’m in boxing to fight the best.
“But if they sign for two fights, I’d probably have to wait for a year to fight them.
“I wouldn’t sit around though, I’d fight someone else in between. I was number one challenger before, but I still took dangerous fights.”
Whyte and Povetkin faced off for the final time before Saturday’s bout at the weigh-in event on Friday afternoon.
The ‘Body Snatcher’ tipped the scales at 247.2lbs, nearly five pounds lighter than he was for the pair’s first meeting, while Povetkin came in at 228.25lbs.
Whyte told reporters that he is determined to avenge his earlier defeat, predicting a stoppage but suggesting that he is prepared to go the distance if needed.
“I’ve made little adjustments, and I’m prepared for 12 rounds,” he said. “I was prepared for that last time, you know. I probably respected him too much. He’s a good fighter.
“People start telling me this, that and the other about Povetkin and you can be more careful because of it. But this time, I don’t care. I just don’t care.
“Every time I step into the ring, I try to give my all. Win, lose or draw. It’s all I’ve done my whole career. Pressure is a thing you can create for yourself if you listen to people.
“I’m ready to go on Saturday. Stopping him is definitely the plan. But if I’ve got to box him first, I will. I’ll use my angles, my range and my legs.”