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Dillian Whyte wants to gain revenge on Alexander Povetkin but could his career recover from another knockout defeat?

“It would be a disaster for him, if he were to lose this fight,” Sky Sports experts consider the impact of defeat for Dillian Whyte in Saturday’s rematch with Alexander Povetkin, live on Sky Sports Box Office

The Panel

Dillian Whyte wants to gain revenge on Alexander Povetkin, but could his career recover from a repeat knockout defeat? The Panel have given their verdict…

The British contender is seeking redemption in Saturday’s rematch with Povetkin, live on Sky Sports Box Office, as a victory would revive Whyte’s world heavyweight title ambitions.

But our panel of experts have also considered the impact of another crushing loss on Whyte’s career…

Carl Froch

It depends how much ambition he’s got and how much desire he’s going to have left, if the unthinkable happens. It would be a disaster for him, if he were to lose this fight.

He’s taken an immediate rematch, which is the right thing to do, and I think he’s going to set the record straight. But it’s a pressure fight now for him.

If Dillian loses, he’ll have to rebuild. I don’t even like to talk about him losing, to be honest, because I want him to win so much and I think he will win. But a loss would be absolutely devastating for his career.

Johnny Nelson

His stock would drop rapidly. There are fights out there still. He’s just obviously come up against his bogeyman who will always have his number.

Could he recover? Yes, but realistically once you know that there’s a man out there that can beat you, what kind of fighter does that make you? Does it take away your ambition to be at the top?

For Dillian, he’s an ambitious fighter who has pride. I think a loss for Dillian would make him think long, hard and seriously about where he stands in the heavyweight landscape.

Matthew Macklin

You’re only as good as your last fight. You can lose a couple, but if you then put in a good performance, you can turn things around.

Dillian was really bossing the fight. In my opinion, he had won every round. He dropped Povetkin as well a couple of times in the round before. It looked like he was on his way to stopping him, but he got knocked out, it was a brilliant shot. If it happens again, then maybe Povetkin is his bogeyman.

Another defeat and it’s a serious rebuilding job. The world title aspirations, I’m not saying they’re no longer possible, but they wouldn’t be happening in the foreseeable future.

Tony Bellew

It’s a career-defining fight for him. When you lose career-defining fights that means there’s a long road back. If he loses this, I would say you’re back in amongst the winner of Derek Chisora against Joseph Parker. That’s an ideal option. Even then, that might be a stretch too far, because they’ll think you’re on the slide and they’ll want nothing to do with you.

It’s very, very hard coming back from a loss at this stage of his career, especially a fight of this magnitude where it’s all on the line for him.

Eddie Hearn

Must win, because Dillian Whyte’s aim is to win a world heavyweight championship. Dillian Whyte’s aim and our aim is to get him in the position to fight for the world heavyweight championship.

Without that, I don’t think he has any interest, career-wise. That is the ultimate strategy, aim, focus. If he loses against Alexander Povetkin, that is out – and it’s not just out for six months or a year. That could be out forever.

Adam Smith

I think with the heavyweight division as exciting as it is, there will always be another opportunity lurking. But if he was to lose dramatically a second time, that will take him back a long way.

A little bit like when AJ fought Andy Ruiz Jr out in Saudi. If he’d lost, it wouldn’t have been the end of Anthony Joshua of course, but it certainly would have been a massive downer and a real rebuilding exercise.

For Dillian, if the loss is in the same manner, it will be a major setback, but I think there would always be an opportunity out there somewhere. There’s always chances for the heavyweights and if it’s another cracking fight, which lurches both ways, they could do a trilogy. But it’s a much bigger problem for Dillian Whyte if he loses, than Alexander Povetkin.

Dave Coldwell

If the worst happens and he gets beat again, then it’s a long way back to where he is right now. A win and he’s looking at hopefully challenging for a world title, once Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have fought.

If he gets beat, then he’s going down the pecking order. But this is heavyweight boxing and you’re only ever one fight away from getting another crack. It’s all about desire really. If he’s willing to climb that mountain, then it’s not the end.

There’s plenty of fighters in history that have got losses, come back with a good win, and then put themselves in a prime position to get another crack.

Andy Clarke

Dillian Whyte hasn’t got that mandatory position and you cannot imagine anyone really looking to give him a voluntary title defence. We’ve only got two world champions at the minute and we might only have one soon. Dillian would have to climb the ladder with the other governing bodies or get back on the case with the WBC. That would be difficult.

I don’t think losing to Alexander Povetkin is something that would be really held against you. He’s still a good fighter and the way that he knocked Whyte out in that first fight, that was a high-quality piece of work. It was something he was looking for, something they had come up with, and he executed it in a way that very few people could.

If Dillian Whyte was to lose to Alexander Povetkin again, it would just show us that he’s not really world level.

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