Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte II has been postponed until 2021 due to the Russian interim WBC heavyweight champion testing positive for Covid-19.
Matchroom Boxing made the confirmation through social media on Tuesday with just weeks left until the second fight was set to unfold.
“Alexander Povetkin has tested positive for COVID-19. Povetkin vs. Whyte2 is postponed with a new target date of Jan 30, 2021.
“A further announcement on our Nov 21 show will be made shortly.”
A full statement then read: “Alexander Povetkin has been forced to withdraw from his Saturday, November 21 contest with Dillian Whyte due to testing positive for COVID-19.
“The pair were due to rematch at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Sky Sports Box Office but will now face each other on a later date to be confirmed soon.
“Further details on the November 21 show will follow shortly.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn added his thoughts.
“Firstly, we want to wish Alexander Povetkin a speedy recovery,” said 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.”
World of Boxing informed WBN that Povetkin decided to visit the hospital to check everything is fine. An official statement from promoter Andriy Ryabinskiy will follow.
UPDATE ℹ️ Alexander Povetkin has tested positive for COVID-19… #PovetkinWhyte2 is postponed with a new target date of Jan 30 2021.
A further announcement on our Nov 21 show will be made shortly. pic.twitter.com/I8ghShA8ei
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) November 3, 2020
Povetkin won the interim and Diamond version of the World Boxing Council in their first meeting last August.
A massive shot ended the contest when Whyte was seemingly on top.
In the aftermath, Whyte asked for the rematch immediately despite concern from WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman.
‘The Body Snatcher’ will now get more time to recover from what was a huge knockout in Eddie Hearn’s backyard.
UK fans will be somewhat relieved that one of three Pay Per Views taking place in a seven-week period is now down to two.
The first of those took place last weekend as Oleksandr Usyk defeated Derek Chisora in London.
WBN would like to wish Povetkin a speedy recovery.