Former WBC interim champion Dillian Whyte says he pays no mind to his critics and that revenge over Alexander Povetkin will reinstate him in the heavyweight title picture.

Brixton banger Whyte was on the brink of securing a shot at WBC champion Tyson Fury when disaster struck last August as he suffered a shock fifth round KO against Povetkin, in a contest he had previously been dominating having scored two knockdowns.

Some less charitable observers claimed that defeat signalled the end of Whyte’s heavyweight championship pretensions, but the Londoner feels a victory in the return will get him back where he feels he belongs.

“People can say whatever they want man,” Whyte told The Daily Star. “I won’t be the first heavyweight in the world that has two losses or three losses on their record. It means nothing. Heavyweight boxing, one or two fights and you’re back. One fight and I’m back where I was six months ago.

“In boxing, a lot of people just sit back and talk rubbish. These so-called ‘experts’ saying he should have done this or he should have done that, his career is over, these guys have never thrown a punch before in their lives. These guys don’t have the warrior’s mindset or what it takes. But I don’t live my life worrying about other people.”

Povetkin-Whyte II has twice been delayed after the Russian tested positive for Covid-19, but Whyte remains dubious about the postponements, having received no medical evidence or test results from his rival following the withdrawals.

“There’s been no proof and there’s been no evidence. We requested medical reports and everything. New Year’s and Christmas is a big thing in Russia. I think he just wanted the time off to recover and spend time with his family. That’s what I think,” said Whyte.

“It’s normal. He just had a new baby at the time, New Year’s, Christmas and family time. It’s a big thing in Russia and you don’t want to be training and whatever. For me, I’m at war with the guy so I’m not gonna side with him and say I believe he was sick. If he was, then I’m wrong and I apologise.”