Whyte: Wilder lost his belt, he’s got nothing now

After a long and fruitless pursuit of Deontay Wilder when the American was reigning WBC heavyweight champion, Dillian Whyte has insisted he doesn’t require a revenge win over Alexander Povetkin to seal a clash with the ‘Bronze Bomber’.

Whyte, of course, was the WBC’s long-time No.1 contender yet was unable to pin Wilder down for a world title shot in what felt like a never-ending chase. Wilder subsequently lost his WBC crown in a seven-round beatdown against Tyson Fury in February 2020 before the Brixton banger was surprisingly upset in five rounds by dangerous Russian veteran Povetkin six months later.

After several Covid-19 related postponements, the Londoner will rematch Povetkin in Gibraltar on March 27, but insists Wilder brings little to the table now he has lost the allure of a world title.

“I could fight Deontay Wilder now, regardless. I don’t need to beat Povetkin to fight Deontay Wilder,” Whyte told Talksport’s Fight Night show. “The only thing Deontay Wilder held was the heavyweight championship of the world.

“He wasn’t a big draw, he wasn’t a big ticket-seller. He wasn’t even selling out arenas in America and he’s American.

“So, he wasn’t a big draw, he just had the belt and he’s lost the belt, so he’s got nothing now.”

But even though Wilder no longer has a belt around his waist, Whyte still wants a chance to settle their long-running, and as yet unsettled, rivalry in the ring.

“I definitely want the Deontay Wilder fight, but right now I’m focused on Povetkin obviously,” he said. “Povetkin’s a serious guy, very serious operator.

“Once I beat Povetkin, let’s see what happens. I want to fight for the world title.”