DILLIAN WHYTE is uprooting his Alexander Povetkin rematch camp from Portugal to Spain to beat Covid-19.
One month out from the Body Snatcher’s must-win rerun with the dangerous Russian veteran, Portugal, where his personal training base is, has been placed on the UK’s travel red list.
After February 14, anyone arriving from Portugal will be forced to quarantine in a government approved hotel for ten days – which would be a nightmare for the 32-year-old.
Team Whyte and promoter Eddie Hearn have looked at holding the March 6 bout abroad, but the best solution now seems to be relocating to Spain and then transferring straight to London for the pay-per-view clash.
Hearn said: “It looks like he’s going to move his camp, probably to Spain. At the moment, the ruling is he would have to come ten days before the fight.
“I expect, within the elite-athlete exemption, he would be allowed to effectively isolate in the bubble, away from everyone else in the bubble, and we would create his little isolation area.
“But that hasn’t been approved yet by the government so he has to either come on February 14, I believe that’s the day before that government isolation kicks in, or he has to move his camp.
“I think it’s likely he will move to Spain and isolate there in camp and then he will fly from Spain once he’s done his ten days or whatever.
“We were looking at staging the event internationally but I believe logistically and with everything in order we can follow the regulations and stage it in London and that’s where we’d rather do it.”
SunSport understands some of Whyte’s preferred sparring partners have been unable to join his camp due to the travel concerns, but experienced Olympian Eric Pfeifer has been on hand for hard practice rounds.
Whyte was knocked out by Povetkin last August, losing his mandatory position with the WBC, and was denied a November rematch when the former world champ contracted coronavirus.
So he needs a perfect build-up and convincing win to get his own world title targets back in sight and the training disruption is not enough for the fight to be delayed again.
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“Sparring’s fine but it’s not been easy,” Hearn confirmed. “And Dillian loves his set up in Portugal.
“It’s quite disruptive for him to move it so he wasn’t over the moon about having to move to Spain to another camp facility there, but unfortunately there’s not a lot of ways around it.
“He has to stick to that date, it’s unmovable, so we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do and he’s got to go and get the win.”