Dmitry Ivanov, manager of former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin, says his boxer was still suffering the effects of the coronavirus when he stepped in the ring for last month’s rematch with Dillian Whyte.
Back in August of 2020, Povetkin recovered from two knockdowns to score a brutal one-punch knockout in the fifth round.
A rematch was set for November, but it was postponed when Povetkin was hospitalized with COVID-19.
The two sides were targeting January for a tentative date, but that scenario was ruled out when Povetkin needed additional time to recover from COVID. He required an additional admittance to the hospital to receive proper treatment.
The second fight received a rescheduled date of March 27.
In the second fight, Povetkin was only a shadow of himself.
He had little to no balance, there appeared to be no coordination with his punches, and he was moving in slow motion.
The fight lasted four rounds, before Povetkin was dropped hard and his corner threw in the towel.
Povetkin, now 41-years-old, has reached the end of the road for his career.
Ivanov felt his boxer never fully recovered from the COVID battle.
“I am not a medical specialist, but, in my opinion, the coronavirus has not been fully studied, in particular from the point of view of the consequences [to the body after having it]. Therefore, it is difficult to say just how much this disease affected the preparation and the fight itself,” Ivanov said to Vasily Konov.
“I believe that it greatly influenced the functional ability and physical state [of Povetkin], as well his ability to concentrate, pay attention and his reaction time. In my opinion, all of the functions that Povetkin had were now in more of a sleep mode.”
Ivanov is not alone in his opinion.
In the aftermath of the fight, World Boxing Council [WBC] President Mauricio Sulaiman felt Povetkin had displayed the obvious effects of his battle with COVID.