BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Dillian Whyte has driven out to his training camp in Portugal as his fight preparations continue despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The Brixton heavyweight is due to face Russia’s Alexander Povetkin at Manchester Arena on May 2.
And the South Londoner had an Instagram live chat with Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn and confirmed he had left the UK.
“There was a little bit of planning,” he said. “I had to drive 40 hours non stop from my house to here. I brought the dogs with me – I didn’t want to fly.
“It’s quiet [where he is based] but there’s food on the shelves. I’ve got a good base.
“My date is not cancelled. I’m professional – I keep training and trying to stay positive. A lot of people look up to us, we’re professional athletes and I try to post something positive every day.
“It’s important to try and get on with life as best you can in these situations. It’s easy to panic and shut down. I just try to show as much positivity as I can.”
Whyte has won 27 of his 28 bouts – his only loss by knockout to Anthony Joshua in 2015.
Since then he has picked up 11 straight victories to become one of the top-ranked heavyweights in the world. He laboured to a unanimous points success over Mariusz Wach at the Diriyah Arena in December 2019.
“I’m going to get back down to my fight weight,” said Whyte. “I’m lighter now than I was for the Saudi fight and I’ve still got a lot of time until May 2.
“I should be in prime physical condition – I need to be against Povetkin. He is an Olympic gold medallist and is a former world champion who only lost to two reigning world champions. Technically he is good. Wach is a tough guy but I knew I had enough to beat him regardless.
“Against Povetkin I have to train hard and come in shape. I should come in 115, maybe 116 heaviest, or 114 – last time I was 122.”
PICTURES BY MARK ROBINSON/MATCHROOM BOXING