Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin set for May 2 meeting in Manchester

Dillian Whyte will make the first defence of his WBC interim heavyweight world title against Alexander Povetkin in Manchester on Saturday, May 2.

British fighter Whyte will face Russian Povetkin as he waits for a mandatory title shot at the WBC belt held by compatriot Tyson Fury.

The 31-year-old landed the WBC title with a unanimous points victory over Oscar Rivas last July in London, before beating former world title challenger Mariusz Wach in December on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s fight with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.

Alexander Povetkin is a former WBA world champion
Alexander Povetkin is a former WBA world champion

“This is a great fight, Povetkin is an Olympic gold medallist, has loads of experience, he’s a former world champion and he’s only lost to Joshua and (Wladimir) Klitschko,” Whyte said in a statement released by Matchroom Boxing.

“He is still very dangerous. I am not overlooking him at all, he will come in shape, he’s tough and very well schooled.

“I’ve got respect for him but I’m on to maximum violence, straight animal instinct.

“I want to be heavyweight champion of the world so anywhere in the world is my lion’s den.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn described the bout as a
Promoter Eddie Hearn described the bout as a

White has won 27 professional fights, 18 by knockout, with his only defeat coming to Joshua in 2015.

In addition to winning super-heavyweight Olympic gold in Athens in 2004, 40-year-old Povetkin is a former WBA champion.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is a heavyweight thriller and so important to the landscape of the division.

“Dillian Whyte sits as mandatory challenger to Tyson Fury and, while the wait is frustrating, Dillian continues to take high-risk fights and that’s why he is such a fans’ favourite.”