BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Dillian Whyte has added Dave Coldwell to his corner team – and reckons the experienced trainer might be able to help him chalk up victory over Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night.
Brixton heavyweight Whyte is the headline act for promoter Eddie Hearn’s final Matchroom Fight Camp – with the event screened on Sky Sports Box Office.
The 32-year-old’s last bout on UK soil saw him win a unanimous decision over Oscar Rivas at Greenwich’s 02 Arena to claim the WBC Interim world title in July 2019.
Whyte ground out a clear but uninspiring points victory over Mariusz Wach in Saudi Arabia on the undercard to Anthony Joshua’s successful revenge mission against Andy Ruiz Jr in December.
The South Londoner has made changes to his backroom team since then, splitting from trainer Mark Tibbs. Xavier Miler has overseen his preparations for the Povetkin bout.
Coldwell has trained a number of leading British boxers and has also been a summariser for Sky Sports.
“Dave is someone I’ve known a long time,” said Whyte. “He’s experienced with heavyweights, and he was in David Haye’s corner back in the day and has trained Tony Bellew. He knows how to handle a big guy like Povetkin.
“Dave can offer secondary advice, or perhaps see something that I have missed.”
Coldwell had a spell training Dereck Chisora, who has suffered two defeats to Whyte.
Now he will offer his tactical input as Povetkin, 40, looks to pull off the kind of upset which propels him back into the world title mix.
The Russian held the WBA belt and made four successful defences before he lost a unanimous verdict to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.
Povetkin looked vulnerable and slow when he got a draw with American Michael Hunter on the same Diriyah show as Whyte.
Whyte is the mandatory contender to WBC champion Tyson Fury but has been forced to wait for his shot until a third meeting with Deontay Wilder has taken place.
Now there are doubts that the American will box in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Whyte is supposed to get his crack at the famous green belt early next year. Hearn has mooted another twist if Fury cannot be tempted into the ring.
He told iFLTV: “People from Fury’s team said: ‘We are not fighting Dillian Whyte’. So I said: ‘If you’re not fighting him then you’re going to be stripped of your world title’. And then I said: ‘By the way, Anthony Joshua wants to win the WBC world title’ because he wants all the belts and to be undisputed.
“So if Tyson Fury vacates the belt, AJ can’t win the WBC belt. Therefore he’ll fight Dillian Whyte for the WBC belt.
“The comments are that if Wilder isn’t ready this year or the fight can’t be made then Fury isn’t waiting – he’ll fight this year. Well fight Whyte, if he beats Povetkin.
“He’s the mandatory, why wouldn’t you fight him? It’s a massive fight. It does two million pay-per-view buys.”
The WBC has sometimes promoted their belt-holders to ‘franchise’ champions – it happened with Vasyl Lomachenko. That saw him avoid facing Devin Haney.
But Hearn says the agreement they have with the organisation means that standing cannot be bestowed on Fury or Wilder.
“The winner has to fight Dillian Whyte – not they’ll be elevated [to franchise champion],” said the fight promoter. “He has to get his shot. I want to make the undisputed fight.
“It has to [come ahead of a Fury-Joshua unification] because of what the WBC has ordered.
“If Anthony Joshua wants to fight Fury then Fury can vacate the belt. If Fury beats Wilder in November or December then he’s got two options – fight Dillian Whyte or vacate the title.
“The question is if Tyson Fury vacates the WBC title, will Anthony Joshua still fight him? Quite possibly, yes. Will it be undisputed? No. Does AJ want to be undisputed? That’s the whole thing he wants.
“It’s never been about Fury [for Joshua]. He wanted to fight Wilder since he won the WBC title. As soon as Fury beat him, Josh wanted to fight Fury.
“If AJ can fight Dillian for the undisputed, do you not think he’d do that? Simplify the situation.”
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