Dillian Whyte insists being “written off” will spur him on to deliver a career-best performance in Saturday’s rematch with Alexander Povetkin.
British heavyweight Whyte weighed in at 17st 9lbs 3oz for Saturday’s eagerly anticipated clash that will be staged in Gibraltar, and in front of 500 fans.
Whyte twice put Povetkin on the canvas in the first bout last August, only to see the former WBA champion defeat him with a fifth-round knockout.
But now the 32-year-old – five pounds lighter than the first fight – is in the mood for revenge, and issued a word of warning to those he believes have already dismissed his chances.
“The first fight was good, and fair play to him he landed a good punch,” said Whyte. “I’m glad he took the rematch and that we’re here.
“I just love fighting, I enjoy what I do. It’s been difficult for everyone this last year. I’m just doing my part to try to bring our beloved sport back to some kind of normality.
“This fight is as big as any fight, so I’m just glad everything is safe and it’s the best place to be to have a crowd. It’s going to be jumping.
“It’s the most important fight of my career, but I’ve been through ups and downs, and I’m used to being knocked down and getting back up.
“I’m used to showing people what I can do when I’ve been written off. I’m still improving, constantly.
“He’s a good fighter, but I’m still learning, improving and getting better every day. The main thing is to win, I’m a competitor.
“I’ll get the win however I can, I know I can adapt. I’ll do whatever I need to do, my coaching team has worked hard on different plans.”
Russia’s dangerous operator Povetkin insisted the first fight has already been put to bed, remaining determined not to let his victory colour what happens this weekend.
“I’m very happy to be in this unusual venue, and I feel relaxed and confident,” said Povetkin.
“I just want to produce good boxing on Saturday, that’s all I’m thinking right now.
“I’ll almost forget the last fight; it’s a done story. Dillian will be better in the second fight than the first.
“So I must be more careful to pay attention to my defence, and forget the story of the first fight.
“I don’t have this mind and feeling that I will knock him out.
“I just want to come out and win, it could go the distance, I’m not focused on the knockout. I just need to follow my plan.”